Wasps are voracious predators of pest insects, produce powerful antibiotics in their venom, pollinate plants and even make a nutritious snack.
The benefits to humans of the much-hated insects are revealed in the first major scientific review of the ecosystem services they provide. It focused on the 33,000 known species of hunting wasps, which carry stings and live in every corner of the world.
Yellowjackets and hornets, the picnic pests that have given wasps a bad name, make up a small proportion of all wasp species. But even they provide help that is little known, such as hoovering up caterpillars on vegetable patches. Yellowjacket venom is also being investigated as a promising cancer treatment.
Pollinator Protection News,
Updates & Information
Right now we are working towards creating an exciting and vibrant Western Monarch butterfly and pollinator garden in Laguna Beaches beautiful Heisler Park. We intend to plant native California flowers and shrubs to support Monarch butterflies, native Bees and other pollinators.
Following a uninimous vote of 'Yes' from the City Council of Laguna Beach, plans for a pollinator garden have been approved in Heisler Park. Educational signage in both English and Spanish has been created and the City have generously given their time to reinstating irrigation for the proposed garden area. The garden will be complete within the next few months. Planting will begin over the Fall season.
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Following pollinators in the global news with the latest news stories, facts and information!
Bumblebees play a key role in pollinating crops such as tomatoes, squash and berries.
Bumblebees are in drastic decline across Europe and North America owing to hotter and more frequent extremes in temperatures, scientists leading a study at Ottawa university say.
Their study suggests the likelihood of a bumblebee population surviving in any given place has declined by 30% in the course of a single human generation.
Peter Soroye, a PhD student at the University of Ottawa and the study’s lead author, said: “We found that populations were disappearing in areas where the temperatures had gotten hotter. If declines continue at this pace, many of these species could vanish forever within a few decades.”
The team used data collected over a 115-year period on 66 bumblebee species across North America and Europe to develop a model simulating “climate chaos” scenarios. They were able to see how bumblebee populations had changed over the years by comparing where the insects were now to where they used to be.
Prof Jeremy Kerr, of the University of Ottawa and the study’s senior author, said: “This work also holds out hope by implying ways that we might take the sting out of climate change for these and other organisms by maintaining habitats that offer shelter, like trees, shrubs or slopes, that could let bumblebees get out of the heat.
“Ultimately, we must address climate change itself and every action we take to reduce emissions will help.”
Source: The Guardian Newspaper UK
Insect populations suffering death by 1,000 cuts, say scientists
‘Frightening’ global decline is ‘tearing apart tapestry of life’, with climate crisis a critical