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Insect Architect at Work 

This tiny architect was spotted building her complex and elegant nest of interlocking hexagons on a patio furniture cushion in a Topanga garden. Although paper wasps resemble their cousins yellow jackets and hornets, they aren’t aggressive and will only sting if provoked. The paper used to build the nest is made from the cellulose fibers of plants, mixed with the wasp’s saliva to form a tough durable papier mache material. This type of wasp can be a good neighbor, preying on the kind of caterpillars that are a nuisance to gardeners. Just don’t sit on a nest by mistake! Photo by Bonnie Morgan

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