DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A stereomicrocope photograph of the head of Vespula vulgaris, the common wasp. This is a hibernating queen. Females spend the winter in a characteristic rigid posture in a hiding place, waking during the first warm sunny days of spring. They begin to look for nectar and a suitable nesting place. Each queen starts to build a nest of paper and lays eggs which are fertilised, as she will have mated the previous year. These hatch and develop into female workers which build up the nest. In the autumn a bisexual generation of males and females develop. They leave the nest, mate and the inseminated females found new colonies in the following spring.
Model release not required. Property release not required.