Stinging insects can become a serious problem around homes and recreational areas during the spring and summer months. Some are pests primarily because people are disturbed by their mere presence, while others are important because they pose a definite medical risk to people and pets from their painful stings.
The ancestors of bees were wasps in the family Crabronidae, which were predators of other insects. The switch from insect prey to pollen may have resulted from the consumption of prey insects which were flower visitors and were partially covered with pollen when they were fed to the wasp larvae.
The earliest animal-pollinated flowers were shallow, cup-shaped blooms pollinated by insects such as beetles, so the syndrome of insect pollination was well established before the first appearance of bees. The novelty is that bees are specialized as pollination agents, with behavioral and physical modifications that specifically enhance pollination, and are the most efficient pollinating insects.
A wasp is any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor an ant. The Apocrita have a common evolutionary ancestor and form a clade; wasps as a group do not form a clade, but are paraphyletic with respect to bees and ants.
Many species of wasp, including especially the cuckoo or jewel wasps (Chrysididae), are kleptoparasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other wasp species to exploit their parental care. Most such species attack hosts that provide provisions for their immature stages (such as paralyzed prey items), and they either consume the provisions intended for the host larva, or wait for the host to develop and then consume it before it reaches adulthood.
An example of a true brood parasite is the paper wasp Polistes sulcifer, which lays its eggs in the nests of other paper wasps (specifically Polistes dominula), and whose larvae are then fed directly by the host. Sand wasps Ammophila often save time and energy by parasitising the nests of other females of their own species.
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