• Question: why are bees more important than wasps?

    Asked by AbbieC_R17 to Shannah, Richard, Matthew, John, Emma, Anna on 17 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: John Paterson

      John Paterson answered on 17 Jun 2019:

      I’m not sure bees are more important than wasps. It’s certainly true that most people like bees a lot more than wasps though! Bees are important because they pollinate plants and crops. This allows plants to produce seeds and fruit so pollination and bees are very important to farming, it is thought that around three-quarters of the world’s farmed plants rely on pollination.

      Wasps are less directly useful to humans than that, but they are very important all the same. Wasps are very important because they kill lots of insects that are pests and that eat crops. Wasps eat other insects, but lots of wasps are what we call parasitoids. This means that a lot of them lay their eggs on other insects and then their young hatch from the egg and eat that insect. It’s pretty gross, but it’s a very useful thing to do because it kills insects that are harmful. Apart from that they’re also just a big part of food chains and ecosystems and lots of other animals rely on wasps for food.

    • Photo: Emma Markham

      Emma Markham answered on 17 Jun 2019:

      All insects are important, and both bees and wasps pollinate flowers. Most people view bees as more important because they make honey, but only honey bees live in hives and make a significant amount of honey, all other bees are solitary and do not produce large amounts of honey.
      Unfortunately most insect species are declining due to pesticide use and environmental changes, but scientists are working with governments to ensure we protect the bees and other insects.