Stinging insects in Northeast Ohio about to die before winter (except for one)

The queen is the queen for a reason

Stinging insects in Northeast Ohio about to die before winter (except for one)
Stinging insects like wasps, hornets and yellow jackets will not survive the winter. Honey bees however, will.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -They were buzzing around your barbecue and picnics all summer but they are about to die off.

Stinging insects in Northeast Ohio about to die before winter

Stinging insects like hornets, yellow jackets and wasps do not survive the winter except for one.

“What’s really interesting about their biology is they don’t overwinter. It’s just the queen that survives,” Dr. Nicole Gunter, an Associate Curator for the Cleveland Museum of Natural Resources said. “So the males and the other females that you’ll see, they actually die off.”

According to Gunter the queen will either bury herself in the ground, or live under dead wood or bark and survive the winter until she can begin a new colony next year with the larva that was laid in the summer and fall.

Honey bees are completely different. Their colonies will survive the winter.

“Because they are in these colonies they form these large balls, they vibrate their wings and it creates enough warmth over the colony that they are able to overwinter,” Gunter said. “It’s amazing. Think about how cold it gets.”

Editor's note: This content is part of a partnership between Cleveland 19 News and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Find more videos like this on Cleveland 19’s Roku and Amazon Fire apps.

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