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What the complicated social lives of wasps can teach us about the evolution of animal societies

By Seirian Sumner, Professor of Behavioural Ecology, UCL
It’s spring in England. The daffodils are in full bloom. A queen yellowjacket (Vespula) wasp emerges from your loft, dopey with hibernation and hungry for nectar. She starts to build a paper nest in which to raise a family. It will be a large family. But for now, she works alone.

Wasps are poorly studied compared with other social insects, like bees and ants. But wasp societies are a fascinating example of a social insect (an insect that lives in a group) because their societies…The Conversation

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