When Given Coloured Construction Paper, Wasps Build Rainbow Coloured Nests
It’s unnerving to discover a wasp’s nest dangling outside your house, but perhaps it would be a tad less so with the help of biology student Mattia Menchetti who cleverly realized he could give coloured construction paper to a colony of European paper wasps. By gradually providing different paper shades, the wasps turned their homes into a functional rainbow of different colours. This isn’t the first time scientists have encountered insects producing colourful materials with the aid of artificial colouring. In 2012, residue from an M&M plant caused local bees to make blue and green honey, and a similar—though admittedly more tragic—incident involving bees and the dye used in Maraschino cherries occured recently in New York.