This post is also available in: Dutch.
In times of rain a lot of work is being done in nature! Water is an essential prerequisite for the survival of life, and every wet chance is acted upon to produce as many offspring as possible. The small ones need protection to grow up (unless so many of them are produced that a few less is not a problem, an ant queen knows all about this strategy). It is best to build a protective house for the offspring. One kind of insect, feared by many people who will flee while screaming with waving arms after only the slightest sight, creates a true work of art. First, a quantity of wood pulp is collected and combined with saliva and necessary additives into beautiful building material. Then a thin stalk is attached to a smooth surface, for example the ceiling of a house. After that, a network of hexagonal (six-sided) rooms is attached to this. One egg is deposited within every chamber. The attachment stalk is treated with a foul smelling and tasting black compound to ward off burglars, like ants. After hatching, the larvae are lovingly cared for by the adults and they will, after about two weeks, pupate in their own chamber into the next generation ….of maribombas (paper wasps)! These beautiful critters, members of the group of paper wasps, are true masters in construction!