Preserving Paper Wasp Nest

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ken Scharabok, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    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?
     
  2. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ken
    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?
    Gary
     

  3. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.

    Pony!

    p.s. Just read a couple of your articles in some OLD back issues of Countryside. Very cool. :)
     
  4. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    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.

    Beaux
     
  5. braggscowboy

    braggscowboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  6. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    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.
     
  7. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    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
     
  8. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  9. thebugguy

    thebugguy Not just another fungi

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    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...

    thebugguy
     
  10. Evan Fryman

    Evan Fryman Well-Known Member

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    You could use Krylon Or ? CLEAR Epoxy Enamle spray Paint !
    at Walmart, Bi-Mart, Fred Myers, Ace True Value, Hardware Stores !