What roles do wasps play in nature?
Social insects perform vital ecosystem services; for example, bees are important pollinators, ants disperse seeds and termites toil the soil. The role of wasps in ecosystems is less well understood, and this is one of the reasons why people generally dislike wasps. We lack estimates of the ecological and economic value of wasps to ecosystems and their contributions to planetary health, as pollinators, pest-controllers and provisioners.
As voracious predators that are abundant and diverse across the globe, wasps hold much promise as agents of biocontrol. Yet, this service has gone largely unappreciated. We are interested in exploring the potential that wasps hold as contributors to sustainable pest-control, especially for farming communities in developing countries.