Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

Mrs. Wasp at Home

T HERE are many kinds of wasps. There are mud wasps, which make mud houses.

Lonely wasps build alone in the ground, and dig holes in the sand. They throw the sand back between their hind legs.

Did you ever see your dog dig a hole? The wasp digs in the same way as the dog does.

Sand wasps make tiny earth houses on walls and fences. Tree wasps hang great paper houses upon the branches or twigs of trees.

Rust-red wasps do not build houses for their cells. They make fine paper cells, and hang them with the open part down, in some safe place.

They varnish the cells to keep them dry. In a cold land, the wasps build in barns, attics, hollow trees, or in the ground.

In warm lands, they hang a bunch of cells out in the open air, on trees or vines.

One day I found a wasp's nest in an old can. There had been paint in the can. The wasp had made a stem of paint.

She used her feet to twist it into a stiff rope. Upon that, for a stem, she built a nest like a white flower.

She put a cell upon the stem, and six cells around that one. In each cell was a wee, white egg.

The eggs grew to fat grubs. They had black heads.

Then Mrs. Wasp fed them. She went from one cell to the other, and fed her grubs, just as a bird feeds its young.


Rock-a-bye Baby

Mrs. Wasp also makes a pap of bugs and fruit, and gives it to her young.

Wasps are very neat. They keep their nests clean. They use cells more than once. But they make new nests each year.

One kind of wasp is called the White Face; its face is white.

Every wasp has a clean, shining coat, and a fierce look; but the White Face is the fiercest looking of all.

Wasps do not bite or chew food; they suck out the juices of fruit and insects. They also eat honey.


A Cosy Nest