A FURIOUS BUT BENEFICIAL INSECT: THE CONTROVERSY OF WASPS

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WHY DO WE NEED WASPS?

THEIR BAD REPUTATION IS JUST A COVER FOR GOOD ECOLOGICAL SERVICE

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There is no any single person who enjoys being around wasps. In spite of bees, which are welcomed in every garden and accepted as tiny friends of human beings, wasps are those kind of insects which have been treated rather like pests. They are not welcomed but during the summer season, they consider themselves invited in our gardens, on our flower terraces and sometimes even in our homes.

We usually have two options when it comes to the relation with wasps. The first one is to accept them as the part of natural living habitat and to try not to fight them. The second is to eliminate the possibility to get into the conflict with them and to risk being stung. The best thing about the both alternatives is that wasps do not attack without provocation. In other words, if we do not deal with them aggressively, they will not answer us aggressively.

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When I was a child, I spent my free days playing in the yard. It was always like an adventure, being surrounded not only with pets but also with so many flying guests which were passing through or relaxing in home made Amazon. I was amazed seeing how many bees and wasps are all over the flowering garden and how all of them are there in some kind of harmony. Each of the small creatures has its own purpose but all together made a great symphony of nature diplomacy. I remember that my great grandmother used to put a water pot so many of them were able to stop and refresh.That was our deal with the wildlife. Mutual respect. I also do remember that I saved  many of bees and wasps after I found them struggling in the water, trying to get out. I had taken stick or stone and took them out. After some minutes, they dried their wings and flied away. I have never had problems with bees but I have never had problems with wasps too. The stayed on my hand or leg and made pilling without stinging me or hurting me. Honestly I believe that nature always feels good vibrations and send them back. Wasps are the part of the nature so their behavior.

I was reading lately that wasps are endangered in the USA and in the EU. That was surprising for me because I did not expect that those angry little animals will ever have problem to adjust to the modified environment. In comparison to the bees, wasps seem to be iron creatures. Sadly, the truth behind their negative image in public is totally opposite.

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Why wasps are important? Personally, this is my question number one:“Speaking in very general terms, wasps do a lot of good, actually. The term ‘wasp’ is used to describe thousands of species within the order Hymenoptera. These include: the parasitic wasps,   like ichneumonids and braconids; hunting wasps, like mud daubers, digger wasps, and spiders wasps; and pollinators like the fig wasps.As a group, wasps provide extraordinarily important ecological services, including pollination,  predation, and parasitism. Put simply, without wasps we would be overrun with insect pests.”

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The term of social stinging wasps are usually used to cover the group of very important wasps which are belonging to the same family, the Vespidae. This family consists of Paper wasps, hornets and yellowjackets. They are all famous for their specific modeled nests of wood fibers, molded into paper. These wasps are hunting other insects and keep them under control:“Hornets and paper wasps prey on other insects, and help keep pest insect populations under control.Paper wasps  carry caterpillars and leaf beetle larvae back to their nests to feed their growing young. Hornets provision their nests with all manner of live insects to sate the appetites of their developing larvae. It takes a lot of bugs to feed a hungry brood. Both hornets and paper wasps provide vital pest control services.Researchers at the University of Florence recently discovered another important role of both hornets and paper wasps – they carry yeast cells in their guts! Yeast is used to make bread, beer, and wine, but we know very little about how yeast lives in the wild. The University of Florence researchers found that wasps and hornets feed on late season grapes, which are rich in wild yeast. The yeast survives the winter in the stomachs of hibernating queen wasps, and is passed on to their offspring when the mother wasps regurgitate food for their young. The new generation of wasps carries the yeast back to the next season’s grapes.”  Yellowjackets are not so popular among people because they seem to be interested in sugar in hot summer days, so it is ended with conflict between human beings and yellowjackets but what we should know is that they are some kind of insect cleaners. Yes, they pick dead insects to feed their offspring.

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If we calculate it, single wasp nest will catch approx 5 metric tons of insects in one year. Without wasps being active in insects population control, we would be in a serious problems as well as our agriculture.  Beside it, wasps are pollinators and very closed to the life cycle of many plants. That is symbiosis. However, they used to be food for many birds and their babies, since the wasp larvae are full of proteins.

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The Buglife is  the only conservationist organization in Europe protecting all invertebrates and they started the campaign for protection of wasps till is not late for our nature. The experts from this British wildlife trust believe that people must learn more about wasps so they can coexist with them without harming each others. The wasps will not sting anyone as long as they are not attacked or being endangered in any way. The problem with them starts during our camping moments and outdoor activities when the wasps are attracted by different sweet tastes on our menu. The worst thing we could do is to panic and to cause wasp or wasps being upset and  the war to be  ensured.  Instead of treating them like enemies, we should accept them like the part of our beautiful nature and try to make compromise, without hard feelings. As someone from Buglife once said, they give the amazing colors to the environment, they clean the nature and they bring us a little cup of drama. However, that doesnt mean we cant find the suitable  line for cohabitation and to not see them through the ordered set of prejudices.

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http://www.thepetitionsite.com/597/888/471/save-the-wasp/

The uncontrolled industrial aggression and the growing use of chemical means which are damaging our ecosystem, the wasps are getting slowly  the place on the list of endangered species. Only  what is up to us is our singular approach to them,  at the moment of  crossroads with them.Every time we get angry seeing them around our “sugar”, we must switch on our thoughts that those insects have very important role in our nature and that we need them as well as they need us. We must learn how to live together. We must learn how to live in harmony with the nature because we need nature and nature doesnt need us, humans. Wasps are just some  of many Nature’s creations.

 

 

One thought on “A FURIOUS BUT BENEFICIAL INSECT: THE CONTROVERSY OF WASPS”

  1. What an interesting article, Sarah ! Thank you for educating us on the importance of these beautiful Wasps !

    I, like you, remember seeing those Wasps in the garden when I was growing up. I always admired their colors, their perfect stripes, and their beauty !

    How nice of your great-grandmother to put a bowl of water for the Wasps ! What a wonderful and loving person !

    Over the years, I have been saving Wasps, Bees, Ladybugs, and other insects ! Just like you, Sarah, when I saw Wasps, or Bees, or Ladybugs about to drown in a lake, or pool, or any other body of water, I would get a twig, or a leaf, and help them get on it and then I would take them out of the water and leave them on dry land where they would recover and fly off in a few seconds or minutes at the most !

    In essence, Wasps are essential to the balance of our ecosystems and their absence would cause a substantial imbalance !

    I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful and educational article ! Further, thanks to the way you wrote it, from the heart, it brought back sweet memories from my childhood !

    Like

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