Odds and quads

This wasps' nest was once home to a large colony of common wasps (Vespula vulgaris).

March 10, 2011

At the time it was extracted from the roof of a Cambridge house in 1981, it was believed to be the largest ever found in Britain.

The nest was supported by roof beams in the attic of the property, and will have produced as many as 26,000 adult wasps in total, with a peak of about 5,000 at any one time.

All were the offspring of one queen, which started to build the nest at about the beginning of May. The entire nest was built over one season, and - as with all wasp nests - was abandoned at the end of the year and never used again.

The nest is now on display at the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands