Do Wasps Pollinate?
Yes – Wasps Pollinate
Wasps are among the millions of insect species that often provide pollination benefits to their respective biomes at some point in their development.
For millions of years, wasps have evolved a close association with plants from which they build their nests, find their food and provide natural pest control! Forming a highly beneficial, symbiotic relationship ensures a multitude of benefits to both pollinator and plant alike.
The pollen on which they feed contains as much as 60% protein. So why don’t wasps go vegan? Well, it is much more efficient to gather insect prey than to seek out pollen-rich plants. Wasps don’t overwinter like bees, so do not need honey. Instead, the wasps need a rich source of protein for their rapidly developing wasp colony.
We believe the high protein content of pollen is no accident. Insects that require high protein diets to survive and thrive will be attracted to flowering plants or angiosperms with high protein pollen.
In regions with pronounced winters, the wasps will die off at the end of the year, and queen wasps will overwinter in houses, outbuildings, caves, trees, etc.
Before overwintering, the queen wasps are in a race against time to develop as much fat as possible to sustain them into the following spring. Once woken from their winter sleep, the queen wasps will need to feed and sustain themselves while building the nest and developing the first brood of wasps.
So it’s easy to see how plants are so critical to the sometimes hidden lives of the wasps we love to hate.
After reading this, we hope you will see how wasps fit into our ecosystems and the importance of their role in keeping our planet green and beautiful.
As a matter of interest – the only paper wasp we know of that produces a substance anything like bees is the Mexican honey wasp (Brachygastra mellifica).