Umbrella wasps come in a variety of colors including yellow with black, orange, or reddish brown. They are very similar to yellowjackets.
What Do Umbrella Wasps Eat?
Adult umbrella wasps feed on sugary liquids. They gather natural foods, such as insect larvae, to feed to their offspring.
What Do Umbrella Wasps Do?
The umbrella wasp derives its name from the upside-down umbrella shape of its nest. These insects are closely related to yellowjackets, but have smaller colonies of up to several hundred workers. The nest is constructed of a paper-like substance that is a combination of chewed wood and wasp saliva. The nest hangs from a horizontal surface, supported on a single paper stalk with a single row of downward pointing cells. They are often built under eaves or inside attics. The umbrella wasp inflicts a painful sting.
How Do Umbrella Wasps Reproduce?
In early fall, the umbrella wasp colony begins to produce males and special reproductive females. These female mate with males and soon leave the nest in search of protected spots in which to spend the winter. The remaining workers eventually die and the nest becomes vacant.
Interesting Facts About Umbrella Wasps:
In the evening, workers rest on the wide, flat section of the nest. Colonies do not survive the winter, and are started by a single fertilized female.