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Why we must (also) protect wasps



They buzz aggressively around our plate, disrupting a peaceful country lunch. Their yellow and black stripes dissuade us from approaching fruit on the stall of a summer market. The presence of one of their nests in our immediate environment prompts us to urgently call a professional to get rid of it. Finally, and above all, the fear of their sting – and of the possible allergic reactions to their venom – leads the most worried of us to bring an emergency kit as soon as they venture into the countryside.

However, bees can sting too, but these friendly foraging workers do not trigger the same aversion. Maybe because they don’t attack right away, die if they use their sting and provide us with delicious honey? Certainly, the common wasp and its XXL version, the hornet, are more aggressive, but is this a reason for so much mistrust and desire for extermination? Absolutely not, according to an Anglo-Italian trio of scientists who have just published a study on the benefits of wasps in the journal “Biological Reviews”.

In your garden or on a walk, this is how to protect insects

“Wasps are one of those insects that we love to hate and yet bees, which also sting, are prized to pollinate our crops and to make honey”, notes Professor Seirian Sumner, for whom “The hatred of wasps is largely due to widespread ignorance of their role in

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