How Long Do Wasps Live?

How long do wasps live? the pestering nature of wasps has made us want to know how long these insects live, whether the specie of wasp involved or the type of wasp.

Maybe you have been using insecticides that have not really been effective and you want to know: how long does wasps live. Well lets us now find out.


How Long Do Wasps Live?

How Long Do Wasps Live
Picture of a Fully Developed Wasp

Wasps have a life cycle that resembles that of honey bees. The caste structure does not change despite the varying lengths of time between the two species.

There is a single viable egg-laying queen, sterile female workers, and male drones in all wasp colonies.

In the spring, the queen of a wasp colony emerges from hibernation, and the colony queen dies in the winter.

Most female social wasps have a lifespan of 12–22 days, whereas males have a slightly longer lifespan. Hibernation can last up to a year for queen wasps throughout the winter. Solitary wasps pupate over the winter and emerge as adults in spring, although male wasps die soon after mating. They live for 3 to 6 weeks as adults.


Read also: Do Wasp Make Honey?


The stages of the wasp’s lifespan (Beginning to the End)

Stage 1 The Start of the colony (Spring) The queen wasps emerge from their winter slumber and begin the quest for a suitable place to build their nests.

The first batch of worker wasp eggs is laid by the queen when she has located a suitable location for her nest.

Feminine laborers take over the nest-building, food gathering, and child care duties when the eggs hatch.

The queen becomes a full-time egg layer, laying between 100 and 300 eggs per day, once the worker wasps have taken over the hive’s maintenance.

Stage 2 Expansion of the colony (Summer) The colony is most active and productive in the summer. It is common for the colony to grow from 5,000 to 10,000 wasps between late spring and late summer.

As summer came to a conclusion, the colony’s size reached its highest point. A new generation of queen wasp eggs and male wasps hatch during this time of year.

Stage 3 End of the Colony (Autumn) The colony’s life begins to unravel as the temperature begins to fall.

Eventually, the nest’s pheromone production ends, and the surviving wasps lose their roles in the colony.

To ensure that their eggs are fertilized before they go into hibernation throughout the winter, the freshly hatched queens will leave the nest.

Fertile males will also leave the nest in quest of a virgin queen at this time of the month.. Those male wasps that have mated will die soon after, while those that have not mated will die when temperatures fall.

Stage 4 Total Wipeout of Colony (Winter) The entire wasp colony will die off towards the end of fall and the beginning of winter (depending on the local climate), save for the new queens that are currently in hibernation.


How Long Does Wasps Live Based on Species Involved?

  • Male Drone Wasp:

Male drones only appear in the late summer and early fall. Male fertility is the sole function of these individuals.

They have no role in the colony and are expelled from the nest by the worker wasps after a short length of time. While this may be the case, several studies have shown that males will step in to protect a nest if there are no female workers.

As if they were connected to the colony, it is assumed that the male drones would give up on the mission of protecting a single female wasp if they were unable to do so.

  • Female Worker Wasp:

For a few days after emerging as adults, the females stay in the nest to take care of the pupae.

After this time, they’ll be responsible for building the nest. Water and wood fiber are collected daily by the worker wasp as it flies about the nest.

Foraging for food is the third activity that female wasps must complete. Nearly all colonists must walk less than one mile to acquire food, but some may have to go further.

Upon returning to the nest after a time of foraging for food, workers’ final task is to defend the nestlings until they are old enough to reproduce.


Read also: At What Temperature Do Wasps Die?


  • Queen Wasp

Generally speaking, the queen wasp has the longest lifespan of the three castes. While they are dormant over the winter months, they are expected to lay eggs again in the fall. As a result, their average lifespan is around 12 months.

The queen will not leave the colony until she dies once she has erected a nest and produced a few workers. Worker wasps will feed and take care of her until she is no longer able to lay eggs for them.


How Long Do Wasps Live Indoors?

Due to a lack of food and resting places, the wasps are unable to survive indoors for an extended period of time. They die of dehydration and exhaustion if they are kept indoors.

This means that wasps kept indoors have a maximum lifespan of a few days or a week. It is also reliant on the presence of other species and the availability of the resources it requires in order to exist.

Wasps have the ability to survive indoors for long periods of time, even if their typical life cycle has ended.


What are the Factors that May Affect a Wasp’s Lifespan?

  • Food Scarcity

During the winter months, most wasp colonies die, however, this is not due to the cold, but rather malnutrition.

Female and adult wasps eat sugars found in plants and flowers. Meat can be eaten by some wasp species. The wasps’ food supply is depleted throughout the winter months due to a lack of available nectar sources.

  • Predators

Animals such as praying mantis, dragonflies, and moths as well as starlings, magpies, and various beetles have been documented hunting adult wasps, as well as the larvae of a wasp.

  • Conflict Between Species

The cleptoparasitic wasp, a single wasp, is well-known for its tendency to break into people’s homes. Many other species of solitary wasps have to fight off cleptoparasitic wasps in order to protect their nests and larvae. One of the wasps usually dies in these battles.

Similar to species like the gigantic killer hornet, when supplies are at a minimum, they engage in full colony vs. colony sieges.


Read also: Are Wasps Attracted To Light?


How Long Do Male and Female Wasps Live?

In general, male and female wasps have a distinct lifespan. Female wasps are known to live the longest in a social species, yet the queen is the only one to benefit.

Male drones and female employees have a similar lifespan, but males are more likely to survive longer than their female counterparts.

With respect to single species, the male of certain insects is only capable of living through one season, while males and females of other insects are capable of living all year long.



Wasps are eaten or killed by birds such as sparrows and ravens, which are native to the area. Wasps are frequently prey to a variety of parasites, and as a result, they die as a result.

Predators and parasites might be difficult to estimate. Wasps will be eliminated by the greater number of birds in your region. As a result, you may ensure that the wasps in and around your home have a shorter lifespan.

How long do wasps live? well, now you know!

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