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Blog: Wasp nests

June 24

Wasp nests

Those with a penchant for collecting usually go for something pleasant like stamps, coins or sports memorabilia. Not Terry Prouty - he collects wasps' nests. The insect enthusiast from the U.S. state of Oklahoma became fascinated with the stingers when he was growing up in Louisiana.

The general opinion about wasps hasn’t stopped Terry Prouty from constantly studying these insects for the last 25 years, and putting together an impressive collection of nests from all around the world. He started his latest collection in 2000, and has since acquired impressive wasp nests which he proudly displays in his home. Most of them were bought online, for prices ranging from $10 to $200. The largest - which has a circumference of 44 inches - was bought for $175 on eBay.

Terry Prouty from Louisiana collects wasp nests. Most of these nests were bought online for $10 - $200.

Posted by andrew, June 24, 2010. Post has 2 comments.
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111 messages
June 24, 2010 14:24
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Terry Prouty
June 30, 2010 03:13
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I am absolutely thrilled to have my wasp nest collection featured here! This would be the perfect opportunity to educate people on the beneficial aspects of wasps and help the bad reputation of these often misunderstood creatures. Wasps desperately need a better public relations image. Education is the key to a better understanding.

I am an expert on social wasps (as a hobby). I first became interested in these flying insects and their nests as a child in Louisiana when I saw a collection of empty bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) nests at a neighbor's home. In my humble opinion, wasp nests are masterpieces of nature. I love collecting abandoned GIANT nests for my collection (The bigger the better!). So for the past 25 years, I have joined in the little-known hobby of wasp nest collecting. I've had numerous wasp nest collections over the years. However, I started my current collection back in the year 2000. I currently have over one hundred nests. There are nests of many different species which are in my collection... including an unusual one from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. I obtain most of my nests on the Internet. People send them to me. My largest addition is an overwintered southern yellowjacket (Vespula squamosa) nest which was discovered in an atypical aerial situation attached to a two-story home. I also have a huge bald-faced hornet nest which measures a whopping 40 inches (nearly 3 1/2 feet) tall! Of course, I have many other exceptional nests. What sets my collection apart from other private nest collections is that most of my nests are absolutely enormous and they are also museum quality.

Here is a video (with commentary) which shows most of my collection:

Here is my website:

Although most people think of wasps as pests, they benefit us and the environment in many ways. They help control arthropod pests (flies, caterpillars, bugs, spiders, etc...) by preying on large numbers of them. This really does help to cut down on the use of harmful pesticides. This is healthier for our environment in the long run. Wasps are also used in research and experiments. In some places in the world, people use the immature stages (larvae and pupae) of wasps as food for a good source of protein. Therefore, the benefits to humans far outweigh the harm which they do. Hornets, yellowjackets and paper wasps should not be needlessly killed unless the nests are located in high-risk areas.

I am always looking for more impressive nests to add to my collection. Here is my email address so people can contact me:

Please feel free to ask me anything at all if you want to know more about my collection and I. Thanks.


Terry Prouty

P.S. Here are two interesting facts for you: 1. The largest hornet in the world is the Japanese Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia). It is the size of a man's thumb with a three inch wingspan! 2. The largest wasp nest on record measured twelve feet long with a diameter of five feet nine inches! It was discovered on a farm at New Zealand in 1963.

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