Q:

How long can a wasp live without food?

A:

Typically, wasps go through a life cycle that lasts from spring to fall, and they obtain nectar, rubbish and insects in the area for their food supply. They are not likely to die from starvation during this period but rather will follow their normal cycle of life. Generally, starvation occurs for any wasp that is still alive in the wintertime and takes place in a matter of days.

The life cycle of a wasp is dependent on the insect's position in the colony. Fertile females or queen bees can live through the year, while working sterile females may only survive 20 days. Male worker wasps are known to live up to six weeks. The life cycle starts when the queen bee begins her search for mates in the spring. Once she finds the right place to build her nest, the construction is soon turned into a colony.

The nest that wasps create can be built out of mud or wood. Females, not males, are designated to protect the nest and are the most aggressive from the month of August to October. Sensitive to light, wasps are inactive at night.

Wasp nests vary in size, but larger-sized nests can hold as many as 10,000 insects at the height of summer. However, those kinds of nests are usually not common, and the average-sized nest will hold around 4,000 insects. Wasps die off in the winter as their food sources are cut off at that time. As the insects feed on nectar and similar kinds of food, they will starve when the food is no longer available during the colder months.


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