So many people are afraid of wasps. Even though they’re not big, their sting can leave your skin swollen, red, and painful. These reactions can last for a few hours to days.
One biology student is showing no fear when it comes to wasps.
In fact, Mattia Menchitti studies them. As a Master of Biology Student, he does research and performs tons of experiments.
One of his experiments involve wasps and colored paper.
He picked European paper wasps for the experiment. Even though they don’t harm people, they sting. That’s one of the reasons why some people think they’re hornets or yellow jackets.
Paper wasps create their water-resistant nests using dead wood.
Their process isn’t that complicated. They just chew the wood into a pulp and combine it with their saliva.
The protein in their saliva makes their nests extra strong and durable. It makes the nests resistant to water.
Apart from that, paper wasps also secrete a chemical that repels ants. They spread it around the base of the anchor to keep the eggs or brood intact.
Usually, the wasps build their nests in sheltered areas like the branches of a tree or the end part of an open pipe.
Mattia wondered what would happen if the wasps had colored paper to work with.
To know the answer, he started an experiment. He gave the wasps yellow colored paper.
Even though they were using a different material, the wasps didn’t seem to mind. They were just focused on what they’re building.
Then, he continued giving them other colors.
There was orange, blue, and green. His final color was purple.
Slowly, the wasps were able to build a multi-colored nest.
The way they built their nest wasn’t different from the usual way they make their home. However, since a different material was used, the outcome was different, too.
Despite that, the wasp’s nest was still beautiful. It’s truly a masterpiece, particularly with intricate details and colorful layers.
Mattia’s experiment isn’t the first of its kind.
Well, technically, the case wasn’t really an experiment. Back in 2012, bee farm keepers from France were alarmed after seeing their bees producing honey with different shades of green and blue.
They conducted an investigation and found out that a biogas plant nearby was processing waste from a plan creating M&M’s candies in green, red, blue, brown, and yellow shells. The bees were returning to their hives carrying colorful substances, affecting the color of their honey.
Mattia continues to conduct experiments on nature.
Apart from wasps, he also did experiments on insular ants and butterflies. He’s trying to understand their traits and genetic diversity. In addition to those subjects, Mattia also worked on squirrel species, terrestrial planarians, and parrots.
Considering all the experiments he’s done, it’s clear that the student is quite dedicated to unraveling some of nature’s mysteries and that’s a good thing. They can help humans understand their environment better.
Watch the video below to know more about Mattia’s interesting experiment.
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