In­sect engi­neer­ing

The ma­son bees aren’t the only lit­tle crea­tures that get cre­ative

World of Animals - - The Petal Nest -

Pa­per wasp

Pa­per wasps mix chewed plant fi­bre with their saliva to cre­ate a build­ing ma­te­rial suit­able for their com­plex hang­ing nests with open combs. These pa­pery con­struc­tions are wa­ter­re­sis­tant and help the colony to keep eggs safe and dry.

Leaf­cut­ter bee

Their nests might not be as pretty, but leaf­cut­ter bees put just as much ef­fort into pro­vid­ing their eggs with a good home – fe­males cut out discs from leaves (of­ten those of roses) and use them to cre­ate a col­umn of brood cells in­side a bur­row.

Weaver ant

Show­ing ex­em­plary team­work, weaver ants put all their strength to­gether to build a nest. Once a leaf is folded, ants fetch lar­vae and en­cour­age them to pro­duce silk; the sticky fi­bres can be used like glue to hold ev­ery­thing in place.

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