Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A family of diplopterous aculeate hymenopterous insects. typified by the genus Vespa; the social wasps and hornets. They are characterized by their two-spurred middle tibiæ and simple tarsal claws. Every species exists in the three forms of male, female or queen, and worker. The males and workers die in the fall, and the impregnated queen alone hibernates. She forms a new colony in the spring, giving birth at first only to workers, and later to males and females. The nests are made of paper, and the young are fed by the workers with nectar and animal and vegetable juices. The principal genera besides Vespa are Polistes and Polybia. See
Vespa, and cuts under wasp, hornet, and Polistes.
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