With more than 29,999 identified species, wasps already have the most number in the kingdom of insects. It is known that wasps can cause illnesses with their painful stings, however, some of their stings can cause death! This surely means that we have to be careful when dealing with any wasp as we do not have enough information about if its stings can lead to death or not. So, BE CAREFUL.
However, the advantages of wasps to humans are so much more than their disadvantages. Actually, harming is not the main thing of wasps as they can control pest insect populations.
GROUP NAME: Colony
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hymenoptera
COMMON NAME: Wasps
SIZE: Up to 4 cm
Differences From Bees
You can distinguish any wasp from bees by a petiole (the narrow “waist”) that separates the thorax from the belly and has pointed lower bellies.
They have many colors such as bright red, metallic blue, brown, and yellow. Stinging wasp or Vespidae family are the brighter colored species in general.
Furthermore, bees secrete a waxy substance to build their nests, but all wasp species construct nests, that are made by their hard mandibles that hold wood fibers scraped, and then chewed them into a pulp.
Solitary vs Social Wasps
Wasps are broken down into 2 primary subgroups: solitary and social.
The largest subgroup is the solitary wasp group. The wasps of this group, who don’t form colonies, are the largest as they can reach 3.81 cm long like the striking blue-and-orange tarantula hawks and cicada killers. These wasps hunt relying on their venom, while the social use their stingers only to defend themselves.
There are only almost 1,000 social species including formidable colony-builders like hornets and yellow jackets.
A queen wasp, that hibernated in a warm place to survive the winter after being fertilized the previous year, creates social wasp colonies each spring. After building the nest, the queen rears a starter brood of worker females. The queen then lays eggs constantly in multiple 6-sided cells, that are built by the female workers, who also work on expanding the nest. Over 5,000 bees a colony can have by late summer. All of them pass away in winter including the founding queen. The queens, who survived the winter are the newly fertilized queens. Furthermore, they do the same process again in spring.
Stinging wasps are given a wide berth by most animals as they are completely afraid of wasps. The point is that stinging wasps will never let you be free without attacking you if you disturb a nest of them, or stumble upon a colony of them. Any wasp can sting multiple times without stopping, unlike bees. However, stingers are only found in female wasps, but their original use of them is to lay eggs.
Impact on the Ecosystem
The truth is that wasps, in general, are very profitable to people, regardless of their reputation. Actually, the agriculture industry uses the wasps by deploying them regularly to protect corps as they can prey on every insect.
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