Be nicer to wasps, say scientists

Wasp world: The UK is home to 9,000 species of wasp. © Alamy

Are we too harsh on wasps? The stinging insects are probably the most unpopular species on Earth, but scientists say that they have lots of important jobs in the natural world.

What’s happening

No one likes wasps. They buzz and sting. Most of us think they are “bothersome and pointless”, according to one insect expert.

However, scientists now say we should be kinder to wasps because they have an important job in the natural world.

Find out more

There are hundreds of different types of wasps. They live all around the world.

Thanks to a new study in Brazil, we now know that wasps keep crops safe by fighting off pests.

Without crops like maize and sugar cane, Brazil would be much poorer and there would be less to eat.

That isn’t the only good that wasps do. They, like bees, also pollinate flowers and plants.

Should we be nicer to wasps?

Some say…

No! Wasps are horrible. They look scary and they chase you when you’re eating sweet foods. Worst of all, they sting!

Others think…

Yes! Without them, the natural world would not be balanced. Everything has its own place.

You Decide

  1. Is it wrong to kill a wasp?

Activities

  1. Write a short poem about a wasp that wants people to stop being mean to it.

Some People Say...

“All life is linked together in such a way that no part of the chain is unimportant.”

John Henry Comstock, insect and spider specialist

What do you think?

Word Watch

Bothersome
Annoying.
Crops
A plant that is grown in fields to sell or eat.
Pollinate
When an insect puts pollen in a plant, which helps more plants to grow.

Subjects

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