DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Paper wasps (Polistes sp.)on their nest. Adult workers on the surface of a nest. Cells or chambers of the nest are seen. These workers were once reared in these cells, but now they attend to rearing the next generation of wasps. The queen who starts the nest builds these hexagonal cells from chewed-up dry plant material mixed with saliva, a task later taken over by the workers. The queen lays an egg in each cell, and the hatched larvae are fed on meat; the larvae then close up the cells to metamorphose. Four to six weeks after the eggs are laid, infertile female workers are produced.
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