Wasps don’t have the best reputation.

They’re not exactly a welcome sight at BBQs or outdoor picnics, are they?  Studies show that, as you might suspect, wasps are more disliked than their fuzzy bee relatives. Unfortunately, the negative feelings toward wasps are very likely due to the fact that there is significant lack of knowledge and education regarding the substantial benefits wasps bring to the planet’s function, health, and sustainability.

However, these hard working critters are actually one of humanity’s most economically and ecologically essential organisms.  Wasps play a role in pollinating crops and flowers. They are also incredibly proficient at managing pest populations.

Wask on flower @ Martin Tampier | CWF Photo Club
Wasp on flower @ Martin Tampier | CWF Photo Club

The next time you cringe at the sight of a wasp zipping past you at a pool party, instead of getting out the fly swatter, try thinking about these very cool wasp facts instead:

  1. Wasps can be found everywhere except for Antarctica.
  2. Wasps can recognize another wasp by identifying the individual from their unique facial patterns.
  3. There are 30,000 identified species of wasps.
  4. Wasps can create their own paper to build their nests with by chewing and spitting out pieces of bark.
  5. Social wasps use their stingers as a defence, whereas solitary wasps use their stingers and venom for hunting.
  6. Only female wasps have stingers, and the stingers are actually a modified egg-laying organ.
  7. Wasps come in any colour imaginable including red, orange, green, blue, and, of course, yellow and black.
  8. Wasps have proven to be capable of using logic. They can use two separate pieces of information to draw a conclusion. This is believed to be the first suggestion that invertebrates are able to use logical deduction.

Learn more about how the Canadian Wildlife Federation is helping our pollinators at BanWithAPlan.org