Today, a local gardener asked me on Twitter:
If I had been asked that question a few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to come up with anything positive to say about the wasp. I was stung by one once as a kid and it took one bad experience for me to hate them all. I even hated WASPs, even though I didn’t know any or knew what the term meant, I just knew that anything with wasp in the name was pure evil because of that wasp that stung me once.
I hated wasps with a passion. If I was watering the lawn and a wasp happened to be in the area I’d do my best to knock it out of the air with a stream of water and subsequently drown it.
Now that I’m older, and hopefully wiser, I know that wasps aren’t that bad and are actually beneficial in the garden. I’ve also learned–much to my surprise– that WASPs are not a race of giant wasps that have infiltrated the human race.*
If you read my notes from the lecture on urban beekeeping you’ll
remember that bees and wasps are members of the order Hymenoptera. Bees
evolved to be foragers and leave behind the predatory lifestyle of the
wasp. They are just wasps with fur coats if you think about it.
* Yes, I did believe that as a kid. I blame it on late night viewings of this episode of the original Outer Limits.
The scientist who talks to bees hires a sexy lab assistant who is really an invading queen bee. If you work with a sexy lab assistant who you suspect to be a bee brandish a fly swatter and if she recoils, she’s a bee.