In the butterfly lab this summer my coworkers and I are working on a unique project. Our goal is to get wasps to make works of art for us. These wasps construct their nests out of paper, which they make with plant fibers and saliva. We have retrieved one of these nests along with three wasps and are keeping them in the lab. We gave the wasps food and water, as well as some balls of colored construction paper. The idea is that the wasps will use the construction paper to build their nest, and we can then switch colors periodically, resulting in a bright and colorful paper nest. This experiment has been attempted here in previous years, but it was never a success. The wasps were usually underfed and died before they did any building. Up until now the wasps were also given simply a flat piece of construction paper, rather than a crumpled ball. My supervisor, Nathan Brockman, thinks that the extra edges will help the wasps to chew off bits of the paper. With any luck, by the end of the summer we will have a beautiful nest to show for our work.