What value do wasps have, besides being annoying and painful?


I’ve heard that they pollinate similar to bees so why are wasps so evil compared to bees is this just a conditioning thing “these are cute so they’re great and wasps are ugly so they suck”?

In: Biology

They are both scavengers and hunters, they clean up dead things, and hunt things like mosquitos and other small bugs.

In Mexico there is a wasp that preys on tarantulas, so it helps keep that population in check

Many wasps, just like bees, are very important pollinators.


In fact, fig trees are primarily pollinated by a [family](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fig_wasp) of wasps.

Evolution does not create creatures because they have a specific value to the nature but rather because there was room for it to develop. There are actual suggestions to eradicate the mosquito as they do not provide any value to anyone and does more harm then good. But wasps do provide some value. They do compete with bees but they do also thrive in areas where there are few bees. Their aggressiveness is part of this as they can thrive with animals that frequently raid bee hives for honey. Wasps do also have an easier time consuming fallen fruits and other dead materials as they have stronger jaws then bees. So there are quite a few areas that would be very different if it were not for the wasps.

There are a *lot* of different wasps. That’s kind of like asking “what value do birds have”, there is no one correct answer. Some pollinate, some hunt, some scavenge.

Figs wouldn’t exist without fig wasps, some wasps like hornets are very important predators of pests like caterpillars who could otherwise devastate many tree or crop species, etc.

Edit: there are tens of thousands of described species of wasps, so there are literally tens of thousands of different answers to this question.

They don’t exterminate other species for profit, tear down natural forestation, pollute the atmosphere to the point of systematic degradation and don’t twist any landscape they touch into their personal concrete and steel habitation desolations.

That’s something.

Some wasps lay eggs in the larvae inside the burrowed nests of various tree borer insects with their lengthy ovipositor, and don’t tend to bite humans although they are some of the largest (therefore scariest) wasps.

So one of the jobs they do is keep tree-killing parasitic insect population down. But that’s only a subsection of all wasps.

But the most effective job most wasps or yellowjackets do, is keep me from digging around in old woodpiles and wondering what that hole in the ground is… most of them nest in such conditions.

Wasps tend to be a bit more aggressive when they attack than bees. First off? They tend to bite more, which is already problematic enough, but more importantly, their stingers aren’t barbed. When a bee stings you, it has a barb on it so the stinger is more likely to dig deep and stay stuck there, where it will then steadily load the would be attacker with venom while the bee flies off and dies. A wasp, however, doesn’t have this barb, so it instead can – and will – sting you multiple times to get the venom inside you and the message across. This can make them seem more generally aggressive because to us humans, allergies aside, a single bee sting can usually seem a tad more manageable than say, 15 or more wasp stings because one is localized on a single area, while the other could be all over your body. Wasps also tend to be bigger than bees and therefore have more of an intimidating presence than their bee cousins.

That said I typically find Wasps to be just as docile as long as I’m not too close to their nest-

No. Wait. Important side note before I close this out. Wasps, especially paper wasps, tend to build nests where there is more useable material, which tends to be where there is undisturbed wood or pulp. Most flower seeking bees won’t build a nest in your shed ( though some do, and the less disturbed the better because hey, it’s safe from almost all predators that aren’t other bugs and eventually, humans ) but wasps see that softer, rotting wood and literally eat it right up to build a home right in your home. Which is arguably the only worse place they could build a nest aside from right under your feet, which they also can do. So wasps are also considered more problematic due to their location too. If you see a bee flying around in your hone, you usually think it flew in, and might stay away from trees and carefully check the brickwork for a rogue nest. You see a wasp and you can’t be so sure that it’s not literally living in some weird nook or in your wall.

Okay but that aside, I don’t mind wasps too much because territory aside, a lot of them aren’t much more aggressive than bees normally. They will definitely drink water right out of a cup you offer them, if it’s a warm summer day. They’ll stand right on your finger and literally drink the water right off of it if you wanna be bold. Just try not to flinch and startle it because that up close and personal, it will bite if startled, but like many other insects, if you can afford to just leave it alone, you’re fine. See it inside your house, and that’s a problem. In the wild? Nah. Just watch where you step and stick to the pathways so you don’t step in a foot full of wasp nest. Also if you do see a wasp nest outside while shopping, try and let the property owner ( or a nearby store manager ) know so they can get it removed and or relocated without potentially harming any children, pets, etc in your area.

There are a lot of different species of wasp and people are generally only aware of a few of the big species that haunt trash cans and picnics.

Many species of wasps are highly valued as predators of pests by farmers and gardeners.

They pollinate but they’re very disturbing go see parasitic wasps if you want a horror show