Where are the wasps?

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I live a rural area and usually at this time of year wasps are abundant but I hardly seen any this summer. The old barn usually has the buzzing of mud daubers when they make a nest, usually peaking around the beginning of July but this summer the barn has been eeriely quite. The only time wasp activity normally slows in during a hard rain, but it has been about ideal with temperature, rain and sun for the season. I seen one paper wasp nest but a few days later it was gone.

I wondered if you've noticed a big drop in the population of wasps in your area?
 
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  • #2
gleem
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Where do you live? I'm in southern FL and have lived here for about one and a half years. I have found a few nests and have had a few intruders in the house. Not much different than my experience in MD.
 
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BillTre
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For many years now, people have noticed a general decease in the number of insects.
This has had different affects on different insects in different places.
Here is a recent report.
The local hornets I am aware of seem OK now. I give them a sheltered place to live near my garden so that they can easily kill garden pests.
 
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Where do you live? I'm in southern FL and have lived here for about one and a half years. I have found a few nests and have had a few intruders in the house. Not much different than my experience in MD.
I too live in Florida. I've been here for six years. I still haven't seen much of any wasp activity this year. Last year, I found it odd that a black and yellow mud dauber built her nest. so low off the ground. The nest got destroyed by some kind of animal but it was after most of the larvae hatched and bored out of the nest
For many years now, people have noticed a general decease in the number of insects.
This has had different affects on different insects in different places.
Here is a recent report.
The local hornets I am aware of seem OK now. I give them a sheltered place to live near my garden so that they can easily kill garden pests.
Yes, I read about decreasing insect populations. However, last year was a particularly active year for the wasps. There was a pipe organ wasp that built a nest 14 columns, largest nest I've seen of that type. Plus, a handful of other wasp nests.

I wonder if maybe the neighbors sprayed for mosquitoes and that might've killed off other insects?
 
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A variety of factors have been hypothesised to contribute to variation in wasp population abundances. Climate has long been cited as a major contributor to inter‐annual variation in insect communities (e.g. Andrewartha & Birch 1954), including in wasp populations (Fig. 1). Common wasps typically overwinter alone as mated queens, with winter conditions representing a bottleneck through which only larger queens with higher fat reserves appear to survive (Harris & Beggs 1995). Colder and wetter conditions in this incipient spring phase of the wasp life cycle have been related to lower wasp abundances (e.g., Akre & Reed 1981; Barlow, Beggs & Barron 2002; Masciocchi, Pereira & Corley 2016). Other researchers, however, have failed to find any relationship between spring weather and variation in annual wasp abundances (Fox‐Wilson 1946; Archer 1985). Warmer and drier summer conditions have also been associated with a high abundance of many insects including wasps (Edwards 1980; Archer 1985). Another potential factor influencing annual wasp abundance is intraspecific competition. During spring, high levels of intra and interspecific competition for and usurpation of nest sites can occur (Matthews & Matthews 1979). Competition between workers during the summer period has also been hypothesised to result in the production of poor quality queens after summers of high wasp abundance (Archer 2010). Different authors have argued for and against the role of factors such as climate and competition in regulating wasp populations, without consensus
https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1365-2656.12622
 
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I live in the South West portion of Utah, right on the border with Arizona and Nevada.
We typically have a problem with Wasp each summer, nest where ever they can build. I bet I have not seen a dozen Wasp this summer. Interesting though, one of those Wasp was a Tarantula Hawk which I had never seen in the area before. We have an excessive number of Carpenter Bees and few Honey Bee's.
Our temperatures have been running six to eight degree's above average the past year.
 
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  • #7
jrmichler
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I live in northern Wisconsin, and our wasp population seems to be normal or somewhat lower this year. Only one nest on the house so far this year.

Three years ago, our dragonflies all disappeared. I think I saw one dragonfly all summer. Not surprisingly, the deer fly population increased: https://www.runningahead.com/forums/topic/08966a0c9bd04224beeb9bb03895a418. We have dragonflies this year, but not as many as four or five years ago.

I'd like to believe that all of this is normal random variation, not part of an insect apocalypse. Unfortunately, searching insect apocalypse turns up a discouraging number of hits.
 
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