Wild

Biology student gave wasps colored paper - then they built beautiful rainbow nests

January 9th, 2020

Most people aren’t the biggest fans of wasps. They flying, stinging insect doesn’t exactly have the best reputation. But, did you know that they’re actually quite artistic? If you don’t believe us, we have the proof.

Mattia Menchetti is a biology student at the University of Florence and his passion is all things nature. And recently, one of his experiments went viral.

Menchetti was studying a colony of captive paper wasps when he had an idea. What would happen you gave the insects different colored pieces of paper over time? Paper is what they use to construct their nests. What he found out and saw was astonishing!

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Mattia Menchetti Source: Mattia Menchetti

Over time, the paper wasps ending up creating gorgeous, kaleidoscopic nests that are vibrant and colorful!

First, the wasps started with some gold, yellow, and orange paper to start the base of their nest. Then come the blue and the silver as the nest begins to become larger and wider as they create multiple layers to their home. Finally, green and hot pink come into the mix to really brighten up the entire creation.

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Mattia Menchetti Source: Mattia Menchetti

The entire construction project was a team effort by the often misunderstood flying insect.

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Mattia Menchetti Source: Mattia Menchetti

It’s fascinating to watch them take something as simple as colored paper and turn it into something so incredible. And although this was obviously something that was possible due to human intervention, it really is interesting!

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Mattia Menchetti Source: Mattia Menchetti

It would be super cool to see this in a timelapse video but the photos are just as impressive.

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Mattia Menchetti Source: Mattia Menchetti

Have you maybe had a change of heart about wasps? Just a little bit? Either way, how about learning some interesting wasp facts?

  • If you ever find yourself near a wasp’s nest, don’t swat at them. “Wasp venom contains a pheromone that causes other wasps to become more aggressive,” says Western Exterminator.
  • Many people think of wasps as being aggressive and capable of painful stings. However, that would only be certain species. “Wasps make up an enormously diverse array of insects, with some 30,000 identified species. But most wasps are actually solitary, non-stinging varieties. And all do far more good for humans by controlling pest insect populations than harm,” explains National Geographic.
  • Everyone has their role in the colony! “A male wasp is called a Drone. The job of the Drone is to mate with the Queen. After they have fulfilled this mission, they die shortly afterward,” says Western Exterminator.
  • How can you tell the difference between a wasp and a bee? “Wasps are distinguishable from bees by their pointed lower abdomens and the narrow “waist,” called a petiole, that separates the abdomen from the thorax,” says Nat Geo.
  • Wasps come in every color of the rainbow. “They come in every color imaginable, from the familiar yellow to brown, metallic blue, and bright red. Generally, the brighter colored species are in the Vespidae, or stinging wasp, family,” explains Nat Geo.
  • And how exactly do they make those nests out of paper? Well, normally, in the wild, wasps will use their hard mandibles to grind up wood fibers (in the case above, colored paper) into a pulp, then use their mouths to form the pulp into the nest.
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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

Pretty fascinating stuff, right? If you want to keep up with Mattia Menchetti and all of his projects, visit his website or follow him on Instagram.

And if you want to learn even more about wasps, watch the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Mattia Menchetti

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