The bacterial symbionts of insects play a critical role in their hosts' nutrition and development. But what happens when your host shuts down? To find out, researchers examined larvae of Nasonia vitripennis, a wasp that undergoes a hibernation-like state called diapause. They compared wasp larvae raised to be bacteria-free, or axenic, with conventionally raised larvae. During diapause, the axenic larvae accumulated less weight and had consistently lower glucose and glycerol than the conventionally raised larvae, suggesting the microbiome played an important role in nutrient allocation and mobilization. Undergoing diapause during larval stages also altered microbial composition in both larvae and adult wasps. Taken together, these results underscore the importance of considering microbiome effects when studying diapause.