A Closer Look at Insects ~ Paper Wasp Nest and More!

Celeste and I are participating in the online Mud Puddles Nature Summer Camp this month and loving it! During this first week of camp, we have been inspired to take a closer look at insects. 

{note: I used my easy macro with my iPod for many of these close up photos and videos. It's been a really fun tool, check it out here!}

We had a great unplanned experience looking at a paper wasp nest closely when my husband found one in our shed and took it down. There weren't any flying wasps around, so he took the nest apart so we could look at it even more closely! 

It was fascinating to look at the different life cycle stages of the wasp. The hexagon shaped cells were mostly closed besides the ones on the outer edges. 

The paper wasp nest, and inside part, my husband starting the dissection 

The inside part of the nest had wasps in different life cycle stages. On the outer part, there was a few larva wiggling around in their cells. I took a video with my iPod and easy macro: 

In the centre part of the nest, the wasps were in the pupa stages. It was really interesting to see the heads poking out once we removed the top layer of a couple of cells in  the paper nest.

We took the pupa and the larva out of the nest and look at them even more closely! 

After looking at the different parts of the wasp nest and the stages of wasp life cycle, my husband fed the ants with the larva... I read in this really cool bug book that when paper wasps build their nest, they also secrete a chemical all around it to protect their eggs from ants. 

We enjoyed looking at different insects this week too, many we didn't capture all of them on film, but liked watching anyway! We watched quite a few flies, many mosquitoes and also a really cool looking Gypsy Moth caterpillar. 

We also starting building a bug hotel! We need to gather more materials around our yard, but we have the main structure done, thanks to my husband again for putting it together using wood we had left over! 

Celeste loved looking at the paper wasp nest through the microscope. Earlier this week, I collected a few things to put a nature table together with a strong insect theme! Celeste also worked on labeling three insect anatomy pictures. 

It's been a great week at this summer camp, looking more closely at insects! 

Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp {photo courtesy of Mud Puddles}


  1. Wow, this is AMAZING! What an experience! I would have liked to do that summer camp, but didn't know about it before spending my entire homeschooling budget on books. :( I hope they offer it again, and I hope you give us a full review at the end of it. (no pressure, though...)

  2. Great stuff, Alexandra!!!! Thanks for sharing all the information and videos. Fascinating

  3. So interesting! And beautiful pictures! Thanks for posting.

  4. That is so great! What an opportunity! I guess the wasps don't leave any adults around to defend their nests. We've only ever found old, abandoned and empty nests.
    That summer camp looks fun! I'm always leery of spending much money on any "e-sources" as I'm often skeptical of wether they will turn out to be worth investment. I'd love to hear about your experience with it too!


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