Wasp/bee nest constructed of colored paper

Please help me find an art/science project remembered from television a few years ago in which paper wasps or hornets were offered colored paper to use in nest construction? My Google-fu is weak tonight, and I’d really like to share the story with a friend.

Only thing I can find is this Science Daily article. Anyone recall more details about the experiment?

All I could find was this -

Looks like a similar experiment. There’s an email contact in the linked page - you could ask if they were inspired by the same show you saw. They might also be able to tell you how their project turned out.

Surely you would have to feed them colored wood (or get some sort of pigment into their diet apart from the wood). They do not use paper they find. They make their own.

In my mind I have the same image, but it wasn’t colored paper. There were bees recovering dyes used in M&M candy. See if this is familiar.

I don’t know the results of their experiment, but I think they were hoping the wasp would use the paper. I don’t know that they are giving the wasps a choice of building materials.

From the link in my post -

The picture in the OPs link seems to have originated from the University of Illinois, but the only information I can find regarding that is here - http://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/5348.php. There no real detail about the construction.

They will use whatever material they find convenient, as we learned the hard way one summer when bees chewed up a sign we hung outside that said “Only one load of mulch here, please.” The sign was written on a sheet of red (highly visible) construction paper and tacked to a telephone pole. We came home to a mountain of mulch, a tiny square of red paper on the pole, and a glorious gray swirled with red wasp nest in a nearby tree.

The bees don’t eat the paper, they chew it. Depending on the species, nests are constructed from chewed green leaves, mud, wood(paper), dried leaves, etc. Walls of the nest are a masticated, but undigested, amalgam of bee spit and handy plant material. Construction paper happens to be very soft and easy to shred and chew.

Thank you so much for finding that, I will email them now!

OK, but wasps and bees are really not the same sort of animal at all. (I think you really mean wasps throughout.)

You are right, the construction paper nest at my home was created by wasps. But there are species of bees which also make use of chewed plant material and mud for nest construction. Leafcutter bees and mason bees, for example, and a bee in Turkey which constructs gorgeous nest chambers using flower petals.