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Hornet nest architecture


ALL social wasps belong to the family Vespidae. This family is divided into the following three sub-families: the Stenogastrinae—prevalent in South-east Asia, the Polistinae—of almost worldwide distribution, and the Vespinae—including the more socially developed forms which are encountered primarily in the Northern Hemisphere1. The comb constructed by these wasps is fastened by a pedicle to the roof of the nest2,3. In the course of the season the combs attain optimal size and acquire a spherical or elliptical shape, curving upwards at the centre, much like an inverted mushroom. The pedicles are long enough to allow clear passage of wasps from one comb to another.

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ISHAY, J. Hornet nest architecture. Nature 253, 41–42 (1975).

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