Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

Mrs. Wasp's Year

I WILL now tell you of a wasp that does not live alone. This Mrs. Wasp takes good care of her babies. She is called the social wasp.

While it is winter Mrs. Wasp hides. She does not like the cold.

Most wasps die in the winter. Only a few live to come out in the spring.

The first thing Mrs. Wasp does in the spring is to build a new house. She does not use an old house.

She puts her eggs into the house, with some food. When the young wasps grow up, and come out, they help build.


Rooms To Let

More cells are added to the house. An egg is laid in each cell.

The egg grows into a grub. The wasps feed the grub.

They bring it honey. The baby wasp has no wings or feet.

It has to be shut up, to grow into a true wasp. When the time comes, the wasps put a wax lid upon the cell, and leave the grub to rest.

At last the new wasp eats off the lid, and comes out, a full-grown wasp.

Wasps work hard all the time. They fly about for food, and for stuff to make paper, wax, and varnish and glue. They have homes to build, and little wasps to rear.


Rooms To Let

They seem to know they must nearly all die, when frost comes. When the cold begins, the old wasps look into the cells.

They kill all the eggs, grubs, and half-grown wasps that they find there. Why do they do that?

Do they not seem to love the baby wasps? Yes.

They kill them quickly to keep them from dying of hunger and cold. Is not that a queer way to show love?

Some wise people do not feel sure that the wasps kill the little ones in this way.

Do not forget that the wasp does not grow after it gets its wings and leaves its cell. When it comes out, it is full grown.

When it is a fat, round, wingless grub it is called a larva. When it has changed its shape, and has wings, it is called a pupa.

Some call the pupa a nymph. Are those very hard words? Try and keep them in mind.