Dalek nationi wasp is a ‘good guy’ as it’s beneficial to humans

Most people hate wasps but they are ‘good guys’. Initially, I’m going to rely upon Jeremy Clarkson for some information about wasps and new, recently discovered species. You wouldn’t normally think of Clarkson as the provider of that kind of information but he’s quite switched on to nature and wildlife because he is a farmer these days among his other activities.

Dalek nationi wasp is a 'good guy' as it's beneficial to humans
Dalek nationi wasp is a ‘good guy’ as it’s beneficial to humans. Image: MikeB

In his The Sunday Times article, he mentions the Dalek nationi wasp; a new species of wasp discovered by John Noyes. It is named after the Dr Who daleks. Noyes discovered a lot of new species (815) most of them wasps which very much goes against the grain of what we hear in the news media almost every day namely that the world’s species are being decimated by human behaviour. They are!

The Dalek nationi wasp and other wasp species are ‘good guys’ because the kill crop pests in very large numbers which helps to protect this vital human food source.

Wasps, according to Clarkson, have variously saved the lives of 300 million Africans by, I believe, protecting crops from a pest, rescued the Thai rainforest perhaps by killing a pest which damages trees and thirdly, “prevented the Togolese economy from collapsing”. That’s also probably a reference to crop protection but I have to guess because Clarkson doesn’t provide any detail. And the Internet is not that good on this.

But this new wasp that I mention together with others regulate populations of crop pests and insects that carry human diseases. And they pollinate which is vital to human survival.

The National History Museum tells us that “without wasps, the world could be overrun with spiders and insects. Each summer, social wasps in the UK capture an estimated 14 million kg of insect prey, such as caterpillars and greenfly. Perhaps we should be calling them a gardener’s friend”. I think we should call them humankind’s friend.

By the way, 14 million kg is 14,000 tons, for the technically minded.

And it may surprise people to know even the wasp’s sting can be beneficial to humans. Although the human response to a sting includes pain, swelling and redness et cetera, several wasp sting venom components have been widely used in Oriental medicine to relieve pain and to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and tendinitis.

A study tells us that “wasp venom possesses a wide variety of enzymes, proteins, peptides, volatile compounds and bioactive constituents… The bioactive constituents have anti-cancer, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. Research is being carried out to seek ways to use the venom to benefit humankind.

That is the humble wasp, an enemy of the people (perceived) but actually a friend; a valuable friend.

Study referred to: Wasp Venom Biochemical Components and Their Potential in Biological Applications and Nanotechnological Interventions.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful
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Post Category: Insects > wasps