After wintering, hornet queens will build a new nest from scratch. Once the new workers have hatched, they will fly out and collect carbohydrates to feed themselves and the queen and will also hunt for protein to feed the larvae.
I’m interested in knowing how food collection for both larvae and queen are taking place before the role is taken over by the workers (as none have hatched yet).
- Does the queen collect both carbohydrates and protein?
- Does the queen leave the nest to collect food when there’s already larvae (as opposed to having stored enough food before starting to breed)?
- How long (in terms of weeks) after the queen started building a new nest until she can fully rely on her workers for food supply?
While I assume the answers to the first two questions to be ‘yes’, I have failed to find a source confirming this. My questions primarily refer to the Vespa Velutina (invasive in Europe), but I’m also interested to hear about differences in other wasps/hornets present in Europe.