Wasps have a bad rap. This summer, let's learn to love them

Wasps play an important role as predators of other insects and pollinators, but they are unpopular with the public and researchers alike. This hunting wasp is digging out a fall armyworm.

(CNN)Before you swat a stinging wasp away from your next picnic, pause to consider the delicate and beautiful hammer orchid.

The Australian flowers evolved to resemble the rear end of a female thynnine wasp. It's a ruse to attract male thynnine wasps.
When a passing wasp makes his move on the flower — tries to have sex with it, in other words — he inadvertently deposits pollen on the orchid's stigma. Without amorous wasps, these remarkable flowers would never bloom again.
    That intricate relationship between flower and insect is one of many ways stinging wasps, or aculeate wasps, benefit ecosystems, human health and the economy, according to a new review paper by scientists at University College London and the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.