Yellow jacket ‘super nests’ appear in Alabama

Biologists are gearing up for a proliferation of enormous perennial yellow jacket nests in Alabama. ©Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Biologists in Alabama are warning of a proliferation of enormous yellow jacket nests — some as big as a Volkswagen Beetle — as warming temperatures allow more nests to survive over the winter. Alabama Cooperative Extension System Charles Ray has confirmed four in the state this year, but he suspects it may the actual number may be in line with 2006 when he recorded 90 of these “super nests,” which can host more than 10,000 yellow jackets.

“Normally, a surviving queen will have to start a colony from scratch in the spring,” Ray told the New York Times. “With our climate becoming warmer, there might be multiple surviving queens producing more than 20,000 eggs each.”

Read the story in the New York Times, or find the Alabama Cooperative Extension System announcement here.