Wasps

Where do wasps live?

Most wasps live in warm climates. Those that live where winters are cold are active only during the summer. 

Most wasps build nests. Some build nests from mud and some use wood to make paper nests. Many wasp species just dig holes in the ground or use holes found in wood.

 

What do wasps eat?

Adult wasps and larvae eat different food. Adult wasps feed mostly on nectar, the liquid in flowers. They also drink tree sap. Wasp larvae eat only other animals. Adult wasps must hunt for the larvae. Adults hunt spiders, caterpillars and other insects for the larvae. Wasps use their stingers to inject venom into the prey.

 

How do they see?

A wasp has two large compound eyes. Each compound eye is made up of thousands of very tiny eyes and each faces in a different direction.

A wasp also has three small eyes on the top of the head, but these see only light and dark.

 

What about the antennae?

When two wasps meet they use their antennae to identify each other and find out if they came from the same nest. Wasps from the same nest carry the same smell. Wasps use the antennae to smell and taste food. Antennae are also used for touch. When a wasp is building a nest, the antennae help to measure the size of the cell the eggs will be laid in.

 

What about the wings?

Most wasps have four wings. Each back wing is attached to a front wing by a row of hooks. Wings are attached to the thorax. A wasp’s wings beat up and down 200 times a second.

 

Did you know wasps made the first paper?

Wasps that live in groups called colonies build large nests. They bite off bits of wood and chew this to make it soft and wet. This is spread out in thin layers and dries into paper. This paper is shaped into cells where the queen will lay an egg.

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