Wasps & Nature
Wasps & Nature:
The question is often asked – What good do wasps do? Wasps are one of the most hated creatures in the animal kingdom along with rats, snakes and spiders. They do do a lot of good in the Spring and early to mid Summer as the workers are feeding the grubs (which turn into workers which are sterile female wasps) on a diet of masticated flies, caterpillars and other insects. Areas around a wasp nest may be decimated of caterpillars and flies. This does a lot of good to the surrounding vegetation and gives plants and trees that are attacked by caterpillars a good start for the year. I think that the population of the Common and German wasps may be artificially high due to mans intervention. The reason for this is that one of the controlling factors of the number of wasp nests in a given area has to be the availability of suitable wasp nesting sites. In a natural environment without mans interference the availability of hollow trees and other cavities would be very limited. Man however has constructed buildings with limitless cavities for nesting sites.
Apart from the actual physical damage wasps do to people by stinging them (there are deaths every year due to wasp stings to people who suffer allergic reactions or from multiple stings or stings in the throat), they do a great deal of damage to fruit. The wasp nest cycle is in sync with nature, the start of their year they feed off the emerging insects and flies and then finish off with the fruit as it ripens. The grub production of in wasp nest stops in late Summer (depending on weather and how early/late the nest started) with the Queen and Drone grubs being the last batch to be produced. As the masticated meat is no longer required to feed grubs the new Queen and Drone wasps along with the now redundant workers can feed on fruit.
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