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Photo#278418
D. maculata nest - Dolichovespula maculata

D. maculata nest - Dolichovespula maculata
Perry County, Pennsylvania, USA
May 22, 2009
A nest only a yard or so off the ground. It is built on the end of a branch in one of my cherry trees

How exactly does the nest site selection process work for Dolichovespula? There are literally thousands upon thousands of places where they could start their nest.
I dont understand the logic of choosing a narrow flimsy branch as apposed to a nice large sturdy one.

Images of this individual: tag all
D. maculata nest - Dolichovespula maculata D. maculata nest - Dolichovespula maculata D. maculata nest - Dolichovespula maculata D. maculata nest - Dolichovespula maculata D. maculata nest with small entrance tube - Dolichovespula maculata - female D. maculata nest with small entrance tube - Dolichovespula maculata - female D. maculata foundation - Dolichovespula maculata - female

I don't know about this case...
but heavier tree-climbing critters can't go where the branches won't hold their weight. In years when our apple tree is stripped by squirrels and raccoons, you can always find one or two apples left on smaller, twiggier branches away from the sturdier ones.
I don't know if there are tree-climbing mammalian wasp-nest predators, but that might be a factor.

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