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Casting a Yellowjacket Nest with Molten Aluminum
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Anthill Art
Published a year ago |
Pouring molten aluminum into an under ground yellowjacket (wasp) nest. I’ve been waiting to make this video for a long time. If there is a hole in the ground, I’ve considered pouring aluminum into it. An underground yellowjacket nest is an obvious one, but I haven’t seen one in my yard, and in a suitable place to pour aluminum, since I posted my first video.

For those who don’t live around these, yellowjackets are a very aggressive wasp that build large nests in the ground and deliver many painful stings to anyone who disturbs them. I have experienced this myself several times. They hurt and can kill people who are allergic. Needless to say, you have to get rid of them if they’re in your yard.

I melted around fifteen pounds of aluminum and all of that went in. You can see in the video that it didn’t quite fill the cavity completely. It looks like the paper nests were pushed up by the molten aluminum, so near the end I was just pouring aluminum onto a stack of paper wasp nests. I don’t think pouring more would have done much other than push those high enough to block the entrance, without adding much to the final cast.

Soon after starting the pour, smoke from the burning nest built up pressure inside and burst through the ground. It looks a little more dramatic in the video than it actually was. It did startle me a little bit, I’m not going to lie, but I wasn’t in any real danger.

Spoiler: Yellowjackets don’t dig the holes they inhabit. They build nests in holes made by other animals. I knew that going in, and expected this would be an old ground squirrel hole or something similar. It actually seems to be built in an abandoned field ant colony. See my past videos to see a casting of a field ant colony. Yellowjackets don’t dig, but my understanding is that they can push the dirt around, which is why it’s more solid than an ant colony. I remember seeing a field ant colony in this area in the past and the entrance hole looked similar. I could be wrong about the species of ant but that long tunnel on the side was definitely made by ants and not a yellowjacket. The general shape also resembles an ant colony, although it has been altered by the yellowjackets and/or some intermediary animal.

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