Most of us have an innate suspicion that wasps are ill-tempered beasts that hunt you down like a dog. Not true. Most wasps will not wasp harm you. Many are helpful creatures, and most are beautiful. Many attack crop pests. Only a fraction of wasps are the social wasps that defend themselves with venom.

Most wasps are “parasitoids.” Parasitoids are organisms that lay their eggs in a host animal which then proceed to eat their host (kill their host). They are important in pest control. Mud daubers, on the other hand, feed their babies paralyzed live spiders that munch on them from the outside.

The study of wasps is not for everyone, but spheksology (the study of wasps), but thank goodness some people love them. Although bees are often considered a separate group, they really are a subset of wasps.

For a good primer on wasps, check out this podcast by “ologies”

If you like insects or what they do for us, check out the

Xerces Society

for Invertebrate Conservation

Wasps by Eaton. PHG has no association with this author and no conflict of interest.

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