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Old 12/06/05, 10:19 AM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844
Preserving Paper Wasp Nest

Found a fairly nice paper wasp next yesterday. I would like to eventually use it as decoration in the house. Would it still have wasps or eggs in it? How should it be preserved - spraying with polyurthane?
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Old 12/06/05, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,274
I don't know where you are. The climate has something to do with your question about eggs. Here in CO, even in January, there can be pupae and eggs still hatching out of a live nest. With a dead nest, you are not likely to have much inside that will start to stink. The paper is fragile, and will quickly dissentegrate. I suggest a spray lacquer that is used to protect paintings or drawings.

Are you cutting it open to show the insides?
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Old 12/06/05, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,807
Many moons ago in another lifetime (I've had a few...) we found a really nice paper wasp nest. In the Spring, we found that there was still some serious activity going on in there.

You could probably find a suitable spray finish at a craft and hobby shop. Spraying it may actually have the added side effect of killing off any survivors in the nest.


p.s. Just read a couple of your articles in some OLD back issues of Countryside. Very cool.
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Old 12/06/05, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,353
We've had a couple nests in our classrooms and labs. We've never polyurethaned them and they've been lasting years and years. I guess they were bug sprayed originally to get rid of the wasps.

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Old 12/06/05, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: NE Oklahoma
Posts: 1,159
Wasp nest

Not sure if you mean a wasp as in flat wasp nest or hornet type nest?
I can tell you that here in eastern Ok, that I sometimes find a bald faced hornet nest. You can get the nest at night if low enough to reach by placing a plastic bag over it (no flashlight). Then use an exaust system from the truck to get rid of the hornets. I then spray with a laquer of some kind and I have some that have lasted for years. I don't think that there will be anything that is active in a nest cold as it is now.
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Old 12/06/05, 02:15 PM
Don Armstrong's Avatar
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Location: central New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 1,607
Whatever you decide to use, if anything, I'd put it in a container to protect it, then in the freezer for a couple of weeks.
τΏτ Don Armstrong,Terra Australis

Grandad, tell us a story about the olden days, when you were young and men could walk on the moon.
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Old 12/06/05, 02:40 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844
Don: That was my initial thought, but I only have a refrigerator freezer and no room.

It is type about the size of a football. Saw one program years back. Guy would find ones being built and bring them home to place in a large screen cage. He provided them with different color paper, which they applied to the nest. Have no idea what he fed them. I can just put it in a plastic bag and keep it out in the barn for a year. Surely anything in it will die off. Just don't want to come home to a trailer full of wasps some day.

Pony: CS&SSJ doesn't use much of my stuff anymore. Different folks, different needs.

Ken Scharabok
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Old 12/06/05, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: A woods in Wisconsin
Posts: 9,283
We have one---football sized---that's been around for about 10 years.

No spray of anykind on it.

We gathered it in the COLD of winter and stored it in a plactic bag until mid summer.

Its been sitting on a shelf for a LONG time now.
I gently, blow off the dust every few months----that's all.
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Old 12/06/05, 04:42 PM
Not just another fungi
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: KS
Posts: 52
I suppose I have something of an obligation to chime in here...

I do not think you need to lacquer it in any way- we have many types of paper wasp nests in our collection that are decades old. I suppose if you like the look, you can, but...

The nest is most likely empty. It sounds like a standard species of Polistes, i.e., a paper wasp. If so, only mated females (pre-queens) overwinter, the rest of the colony dies. The mated females overwinter in cracks and crevices in bark, etc., not in the nest.

There may be critters living on the dried husks of wasps or larvae stuck in the nest, and while they would more or less be harmless indoors, you might want to put it through a couple of deep freeze/thaw cycles (by placing it outside, then letting it warm up inside, outside, inside) to kill them off. If you're really worried, leave it outside in a bag (as previously suggested) until mid-summer.

Hope this helps...

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Old 12/06/05, 09:39 PM
Evan Fryman's Avatar  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oregon, Coos Bay
Posts: 71
You could use Krylon Or ? CLEAR Epoxy Enamle spray Paint !
at Walmart, Bi-Mart, Fred Myers, Ace True Value, Hardware Stores !
I just don't know !
Just maybe, One day, My dreams will come true !
I wish you all a happy life !
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