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Wasps are very busy during the summer and we will be able to see them everywhere very busy during the summer season. But can we imagine a world without wasps? No, not at all. Wasps not only prevent the plant species from extinction but they are also responsible for the balance of life on Earth. We don’t understand the importance of wasps that easily and thus we hate them so much and curse them if they ever come into contact with humans.
Quite true that they have stings on their tails and sometimes even attack humans with them. But, we only get attacked if we disturb their lifestyle. Otherwise, they are best friends for humans because the fruit that we eat today is because of them.
Wasps offer us free services like how bees do. They contribute a lot to our economy and the ecosystem. But we humans have only discovered half of the wasp population which is around 110,000 species of wasps and details about them. There is actually another half which is around 100,000 species yet to be documented and still a puzzle to mankind.
Usually, in the city or town we live, we will be able to easily identify a minimum of 100 species of wasps. They are everywhere until we keep the surrounding green. Compared to the other species we have on the planet, wasps are huge. It is quite sad to see humans, one among the 5400 species of mammals trying to dominate the other species of nature.
We have parasitic and predatory wasps in our environment. They are responsible for doing various things and keeping the ecological balance. The lower invertebrate species and the plant species are fully protected by the wasp population. They either be dependent on the other species for life or they help in creating new species for the ecosystem. For example, we taste so many fruits today. Without wasps, we will not be able to get these fruits because they help in pollination. Some of the wasps’ feed are carnivorous and plant-feeding arthropods, they help in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.
The predatory wasps sometimes feed on the other species for their life. We cannot say that they live forever after feeding but they mostly feed on other insects helping in the regulation of the population. The creation of nature itself is a big puzzle and when we see these things, we can easily wonder who gave these wasps instructions to help in maintaining the ecological balance. They take no fee to regulate the population of the ecosystem. If there are no predatory wasps, then there will not be a balance in the population of insects. There will be lots of spiders, insects, centipedes, and mites everywhere. Their numbers will start growing like anything.
Not all the wasps like the social lifestyle but there are some species who have this concept of queens and workers. We can see the same concept in bees and ants as well where there will be a queen and she lays numerous eggs which will become her workers. The same is applicable for wasps as well. There will be a wasp queen who will be laying lots of eggs to create thousands and thousands of offspring workers during a colony cycle. The workers take care of over 10000 sibling larvae in one particular colony cycle. It is still a big mystery to mankind on why the structure is this way.
One colony takes care of killing a vast number of species in one particular season. They feed on other insects like millipedes and spiders and complete the colony cycle. While doing this task they also take care of the pollination of flowers and provide us fruits. Some wasps are parasites and they live a life inside a flower throughout the cycle until the flower becomes a fruit. Many parasitic wasps are also capable of wiping out a species during the colony life cycle making them very useful to reduce the number of insect species that can destroy our crops and food items during the season. If we have enough wasps, we will not even need dangerous pesticides. At the same time, they also have a self-destruction model where their numbers will also not grow huge.
Our human food is mostly dependent on wasps. We either wait for them to pollinate the flowers to get tasty fruits or we wait for them to destroy the insects that spoil human food. Wasps play a security role in preserving the foods for humans and other species. Pollination is the biggest topic to discuss if we have to talk about the massive contribution of wasps. Especially when we read about the relationship between figs and fig wasps and how we get chocolates, it will be a great surprise to us. Wasps and the fruits are interdependent and without both of them, the life-cycle will not be complete.
We would have read about co-evolution in our textbooks during school days. Wasps are the best examples for co-evolution where they help in pollination and at the same time they get helped to complete the life-cycle. We mostly see wasps as just the pollinators who help in pollinating various fruits and flowers. When we reduce the count of trees and plants on which the wasps are dependent on, we are not only risking the life of wasps but we are also creating an imbalance in the ecosystem.