CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -They were buzzing around your barbecue and picnics all summer but they are about to die off.
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.”
What’s crawling in your house? Prowling in your backyard? What am I seeing through my backyard telescope? Did I really just see a bald eagle during my drive home? Are coyotes dangerous? Experts from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History join us to set the record straight on Cleveland Natural – helping you better understand Northeast Ohio nature and providing tips on how to best share our region with our wild neighbors. Explore the wonders of science and nature at cmnh.org.