‘Dad’, asked the child, ‘are we really too mean with wasps? Yesterday, on my tablet, I watched a cartoon where a bee and a wasp were arguing a bit. The bee accused the wasp of being bad but really they look the same. Can you tell me about the difference ?’
‘Yes’, answered the father frowning a bit in search of a little story to tell, ‘I will try.’
I will start with a picnic we had in the countryside last year, it seems to me, with aunts, uncles, cousins…. You were still small and maybe you don’t remember. On that occasion, the wasps were a nuisance for us. We were a little afraid for you children above all. In fact, we generally love bees that give us honey but we don’t love wasps that only know how to sting!
But it is not exactly like that!
First thing, you must learn to recognize the bee and the wasp. The common wasp has a striped body yellow and black and its body is like in two parts with a very tight waist; when it flies, its yellow legs are hanging. The bees are rounder, more full-bodied; they are hairy while wasps are not. It is not easy to distinguish them also because, without even looking, taken by the fear of being stung, we get agitated and we try to send them away.
And now, back to the picnic when the wasps had bothered us a lot….
Wasps, especially in the hot months, buzz in search of ripe fruit and sweets such as ice cream. So, when you are eating it, they are very annoying; and when they feel threatened they can attack, even if you have only tried to send them away. Wasps stings are very painful and some people may have allergic reactions and swellings. But wasps play an important role too. They eat other insects (flies and caterpillars) and gardeners usually appreciate them because they keep some parasites away from plants.
But, because of their sting, many people think that the wasp colonies should be destroyed.
Certainly, wasps don’t produce honey like bees but they too carry the pollen, from flower to flower and are essential for having lush fields and gardens.
People should just keep calm and stay away from them!
Wasps catch tons of preys to feed their larvae and without them we would be invaded by insects and spiders.
But there is not much understanding between bees and wasps!!
Listen now to what a bee told me one day…..:
‘Hi! I’m a bee. I often come confused with that ugly beast called wasp! The difference with it, is that I don’t sting for joke because I’m dying (my intestines come off!). This ugly one will never die even after a sting and then it deliberately assaults and it is also destroying us all bees. It is not even capable of making honey!
So please! Learn to recognize me, you can save your life and me because tomorrow I will be completely extinct; time a few years, the race will not longer exist”.
‘Oh’, wondered the child ‘what do you think about dad? Which side should we stand on ?’
‘No side, little one !’, said the dad and added: ‘Everyone on earth has a reason to stay there even those that seem bad to you.
Yes! The poor bee is right and the world is sometimes cruel. It is necessary to control the increase of wasps and their aggressiveness but they too have the right to live and to do their work.
You must try to observe, to listen, to understand and respect even it is not always easy…’
‘I loved this story dad!’, replied the child. ‘I think I will look at things a little differently now… not just bee as good and wasp as bad…..’
Thank you dad! I love your stories!
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