Are Wasps Pollinators?
Wasps are often considered to be the mean, cold and distant older brother of bees that only exist to ruin picnics and facilitate painful stings. But, like a lot of creatures, wasps serve a hidden purpose that isn’t as illusive as it might seem.
At Bee Clean Soaps, we care about all of our pollinating friends, so we’ve decided to debunk the myth of whether or not wasps really are just a nuisance.
Are wasps pollinators?
Yes! Wasps are accidental pollinators and play a vital role in keeping our flowers and gardens healthy.
How do wasps pollinate?
Like bees, wasps have hair on their bodies, but there is much less of it. This means pollen sticks to them while they feed on nectar which they then carry onto the next flower they land on.
What do wasps pollinate?
Wasps play an important role in the pollination of orchids. Many species of orchid have adapted their appearance and scent to smell like female wasps in order to attract male wasps.
Likewise, fig wasps are vital for the pollination of fig trees whose flowers are notoriously difficult to get to for other pollinators. In fact, fig trees have become almost entirely dependent on wasps for their pollination.
Some scientists even believe that wasps are irreplaceable pollinators because their thin bodies allow them to access closed flowers that the fuzzy bodies of most bee species cannot fit into. Wasps are also crucial to the pollination of less colourful flowers that aren’t as attractive to bees.
You probably haven’t heard of the foreign pollinator who eats an entirely vegetarian diet of pollen and nectar. These wasps are far better pollinators than other species of wasps who prey on insects and grubs, because they collect pollen in their mouths intentionally rather than accidentally on their bodies.
Pollen wasps live in North America, flitting from flower to flower, gathering nectar to eat and keeping the North American habitat alive.
Why are wasps important?
Wasps are often wrongly believed to be inconvenient and unnecessary, but this is far from true. In fact, our ecosystem depends on them in more ways than one.
Many plant species have become dependent on wasps because they eat harmful insects and pests like aphids, invertebrates and insects that destroy them. Without them, many of our most treasured species would be overrun with parasites.
And although they don’t contribute as highly to the pollination of our flowers as bees do, they are still essential to the health of our flora.
That’s why, at Bee Clean Soaps, we cherish our buzzing buddies and are proud to call wasps our friends. So next time you’re out and about and you dismiss the wasp as just another nuisance to your day, take a second to think about all the good it is doing for the planet, give it a little wave, and remember to thank it from all of us.