A 12-year-old boy,Jordan Waddingham, has found what is believed to be the largest European wasp nest in the world, on a property at Karoola, north east of Launceston in Tasmania.
Honorary Research Associate at Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum Simon Fearn said said the nest was so big because it was two years old and probably contained several hundred thousand wasps.
“A one-year-old nest is the size of a soccer ball, but this nest takes up the best part of a cubic metre,” he said. “Normally European wasp nests don’t survive through winter, but last year’s mild, dry winter allowed it to survive into its second year. We had to go on to the property at night when the wasps were dormant to destroy the colony. It took two days to unearth the nest from a creek bank, and four men had to carry it out of the bush.”
Mr Fearn said: “Jordan’s mother was having real problems with European wasps but could not locate the nest. Instead she offered him $20 to find it. It was the quickest $20 Jordan has made. He located the nest among blackberries. It’s huge, it has six entrances.’’
As far as targeting wasp nest on properties across the southern part of Australia, Mr Fearn offered a note of caution. “You can’t go anywhere near a nest like this during daylight hours as the wasps defend their home rigorously” he said. “There could have been more than a hundred thousand wasps in this massive nest, so we had to wait until nightfall when the wasps were dormant.”
A review of literature on European wasps has identified the nest as the largest underground nest ever found in the world, weighing just under 100 kilos. The nest will go on display at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston over the Easter break.
This news article is an excerpt.