What do WASPS actually do?

A summers day can always be interrupted by the dreaded wasps. In fact, studies show that wasps tend to be hated, however, for some reason we tend to favour bees. The ideology between the two insects tends to be drawn from a collective fear more likely stimulated from an early onset of a behavioural learnt characteristic.

What do WASPS actually do?

Most people when asked to associate words relating to bees tend to describe them such as honey, flowers and pollination. This tends to derive the focus to really stimulate the thought relating to purposeful, highlighted to be welcomed and protected. However, the initial description of wasps differs dramatically using words like 'sting', 'annoying' and even 'dangerous'. 

The general concept narrows thinking, drawing to the conclusion that wasps do not play an integral role with the collective agreement of biodiversity, therefore, nature could survive and be unaffected if wasps just disappear. Unfortunately, this is not the case, every species in some way or another plays its part in supporting the balance of biodiversity.

The evolution of bees and wasps

The first bee's evolved from wasps, which were and still are predators today. It is thought that this slow transition emerged around 130million years ago. This emanates the perfect environmental adaption that wasps were able to render its survival for much longer than 130 million years. 

Wasps have been around longer than primates which emerge from mammals around 85 million years ago. However, when compared to our human ancestors which emerged 5-7 million years ago, you tend to feel that wasps have earned their place within nature and will most likely be here after humans have long disappeared.

What do WASPS actually do?

What role do wasps play in ecological interactions?

Although some wasps transitioned their diet from insect hunting to pollen and nectar, also known as bees, they still do play a vital and important role in the environment. Social wasps are predators which play the ecological role of controlling the number of potential pests, such as greenfly and caterpillars.

It is estimated that social wasps might account for 14 million kilograms of insect prey across summer. A world without wasps would be a world full of a large number of insect pests irritating our gardens and crops.

Most promote a protective thought towards bees mostly because of their contribution to pollinate which tends to be a vital aspect for the survival of many species. However, this should also be the case for wasps, who are also valuable pollinators. This is essentially how the journey of the bee began, wasps first point of call for a sweet drink is to visit the flower and drink the nectar. Really it is this reason, the thirst for sweet nectar that wasps become so bothersome in the summer months. 

Insects are generally having a hard time; changing environments, changing climate, habitat loss and the use of insecticides are all taking their toll on these vital creatures.
Yet, whilst many take up the cause of the honeybee or extol the beauty of butterflies some of the most fascinating and important insects remain the most reviled. It's time we stopped asking "what is the point of wasps" and started to appreciate them for the ecological marvels that they are. 


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