We might hate wasps because of their bad reputation of ruining our picnics and nesting in the worst places ever – like inside the house! But, according to Advocator, there is a study that shows wasps are important pollinators for plants and crops. Moreover, they’re even better than the friendly bees.
Researchers at the University College London show that wasps also have the same role as bees when it comes to crops and flowers. The study author Dr. Seirian Summer with the Genetics Evolution and Environment Department (UCL) explains why we like bees more than wasps:
“We have lived in harmony with bees for a very long time, domesticating some species, but human-wasp interactions are often unpleasant as they ruin picnics and nest in our homes.
But wasps are perfect when it comes of ridding the crops of pest insects, Summer adding that wasp populations are in decline too:
“We need to actively overhaul the negative image of wasps to protect the ecological benefits they bring to our planet. They are facing a similar decline to bees and that is something the world can’t afford.”
Global Concern For Bees – Why Not For Wasps Too?
The co-author of the study, Dr. Allesandro Cini, (UCL and the University of Florence) explains that it’s high time we showed some support for the wasps:
“Global concern about the decline of pollinators has resulted in a phenomenal level of public interest in, and support of, bees. It would be fantastic if this could be mirrored for wasps but it would need a complete cultural shift in attitudes towards wasps.”
There are 75,000 species of wasps, and just two of them are the ones we despise so much: the social yellowjackets and hornets which appear to take a liking into contacting humans. This is what made us despise them.
The authors concluded that to help the wasp population stop from declining, scientists should start conducting more research on them and prove their importance:
“The first step on the way to this would be for scientists to appreciate wasps more and provide the required research on their economic and societal value, which will then help the public understand the importance of wasps.”
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere