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Old 03-12-2013, 04:47 PM   #1
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What's in Paper Wasp Spit

Could we learn from the paper wasp to make a fire retardant material. OR have we and I missed that part.

I was burning in the pasture edge for spring clean up and found this paper wasp nest that had been abandon last Fall. Rather than leaving it in a grassy area where the traveling fire hadn't harmed it much I pitched it into a small pile of brush that would burn longer. After about 20 minutes the cylindrical shape had changed some but otherwise not much harm done.

Social wasps use paper (wood pulp) to construct their nests. A wasp collects wood fiber by using its mandibles (mouth parts) to scrape it from worn and weathered wooden fences, buildings, telephone poles, and other sources. Sometimes it collects fiber from man-made paper products such as paper bags or cardboard boxes. The insect then chews the wood and mixes it with saliva. This makes the wood fiber extremely soft and moist. After a period of chewing, the wasp adds the paste to the nest structure and spreads it out with her mandibles and legs.
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What's in Paper Wasp Spit-wasp-nest.jpg  


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