While warm dry weather is detrimental to mosquitoes, wasps thrive in it.

Ken Fry, an instructor at Olds College, says we have about 15 species of yellow jackets or wasps in Alberta. He says, “The Queens are the ones that over winter they get mated in the fall and then they go and overwinter and everything else dies. The males, the workers, and everything else dies over winter and the Queens overwinter and when they emerge, they set out to set up their own little nest, and then they collect all the food that they can and build the nest up to the point of that first generation is born.” They then take over the work duties and the queen focuses on procreating. If it is warm weather, the wasps develop more rapidly.  

Fry says, “We aren’t seeing an increase in the number of wasps, per se, but instead we're seeing them perhaps be more abundant earlier in the summer than later in the summer, only because of the heat we're having causes them to produce or mature more rapidly, so usually it takes a while for wasp nests to build up in numbers to the hundreds.” 

Bottom line, the warmer the weather the more wasps we will see. Fry says, “normally we say oh it's August and there are lots of yellow jackets around, but now we're seeing, oh it's July and there are lots of yellow jackets around. It’s likely due to the heat we’ve been seeing recently.” 

Fry points out that the food chain plays a role in the wasp population as well, “There are plants growing, which means there are caterpillars eating those plants, which means there's food for the wasps. “Wasps are hunters, carnivores they don’t search out nectar like bees although they may drink it to power their flight muscles. No, Fry says, “They are carnivores, hunting animals, hunting caterpillars, and grubs all kinds of insects, that’s what they feed their young.” 

With warm weather, and a healthy plant and insect life cycle, it sounds like this summer is the wasp's ideal situation and chances will see a lot of them before the cool fall weather sets in.