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Do hornets desert their nest in the winter?

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In summer, the hornet's nest hangs half hidden amid leafy boughs and the hot tempered hornets are ready to attack anyone who comes near. If you spot the big papery ball in summer, run don't walk out of range. Wait until winter, when it is safer, almost quite safe, to investigate. A honeybee hive is occupied season after season. In winter, the bees stay inside, huddling together and feeding on stored honey. A few wasps of the tropics also store honey and survive the mild winter. But most colonies of wasps and waspy hornets begin and end their cycles with the summer season. Only a few young queens survive the winter, sheltering from the cold in cozy cracks and crevices. Sometimes one creeps into a barn or hides in a farm house attic. Some spring, each surviving young hornet flies forth to start her new duties as queen mother of a new colony. She chooses a suitable spots high on a bough or down in a hollow in the ground. Then she chews wood to make a few papery cells and lays a few eggs. ... more
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