Observation: Your Neighbor Added a Farmer’s Porch to His House and Painted the Ceiling of It Blue. When You Asked Him Why, He Told You He Had Read That the Sky Blue Ceiling Would Fool Wasps Into Thinking It Was the Sky

Topics: Scientific method, Experiment, Theory Pages: 2 (430 words) Published: September 23, 2012
Observation: Your neighbor added a farmer’s porch to his house and painted the ceiling of it blue. When you asked him why, he told you he had read that the sky blue ceiling would fool wasps into thinking it was the sky and they would not build any nests under the eaves of the porch or along the ceiling.

Question: Would a blue ceiling really deter wasps from building nests on the porch?

Introduction: There are many colloquial stories about blue painted porch ceilings. In particular, southerners believe that it wards off bees, wasps, and even ghosts from nesting or visiting their porches. After conducting an internet on Google scholar, no formal scientific experiments have investigated if this blue paint actually serves as wasp nest repellent. I also did a general search on the web, and many blogs have posted both the affirmative and negative conclusions about blue paint actually working. Thus, I would like to conduct an experiment that looks into this common household theory, to see if it could ever become a scientific theory.

Hypothesis: I hypothesize that wasps will nest in ceilings regardless of their color.

Prediction: If the ceiling is blue, then it will have an equal chance of having a wasp nest as any other color ceiling.

Controlled Experimental Method: I will use eight different colors of paint, and paint 3 ceiling tiles of each color. The colors will be white (control), red, orange, yellow, blue green, indigo and violet. I will place each tile in a separate box that is large enough for the wasps to nest. I will then expose mating wasps to each box for a 24-hour period. After 24 hours, I will record if any nests were made. I will then repeat this experiment 9 more times, with new mating wasps each time. After I collect the data, I will analyze it using a Tukey-Kramer test to see of the number of nests are significantly different by colored tile. I will also compare if blue had more or less wasp nests as compared to all the other colors and...
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