The Brown Wasps Essay

The Brown Wasps Essay-53
Honey bee colonies can have populations over 75,000, while wasps' colonies tend to have fewer than 10,000 individuals.Queen wasps build a nest for their colony, while worker honey bees create and maintain hives.

Honey bee colonies can have populations over 75,000, while wasps' colonies tend to have fewer than 10,000 individuals.Queen wasps build a nest for their colony, while worker honey bees create and maintain hives.

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That proposal must include data from lab experiments gauging whether their candidate is likely to eat or parasitize species other than the targeted pest. Over and over, potentially beneficial species have popped up uninvited, likely reaching new continents by the same shadowy routes of international trade and travel that spread pests.

Three groups then vet the evidence of its safety: a scientific review panel with representatives from Canada and Mexico, an APHIS official, and sometimes the U. Entomologist Paul De Bach of the University of California, Riverside, in a 1971 essay, called this phenomenon fortuitous biological control. Recently, the North American leaf beetle (, which kills the gypsy moth in its caterpillar stage—started to spread around New England in the late 1980s, “it was very exciting,” says entomologist Ann Hajek of Cornell University.

In this orchard, managed by the Rutgers University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, the mottled, shield-shaped stinkbug is a research subject.

In surrounding farms and homes, however, it’s a despised invasive pest known for its indiscriminate appetite, its tendency to escape cold weather by crowding into homes—sometimes by the thousands—and the pungent, cilantrolike odor it releases when crushed.

Then in 2014, Hoelmer got an unexpected phone call.

Elijah Talamas, a taxonomist at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Gainesville, had been helping another ARS team identify native wasps parasitizing stinkbug eggs in Maryland.Like many invasive species, the brown marmorated stinkbug has no major enemies in its new home to keep its population in check.So in 2005, entomologist Kim Hoelmer and his team at the U. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Newark, Delaware, turned to a strategy known as classical biological control: They traveled to Asia to find natural enemies of the stinkbug that they might release in the United States.Her team had tried without success to establish the fungus, but once it arrived, she spent years making sure it wasn’t harming local caterpillar species.“We were lucky,” she says: The natives were mostly unaffected. Entomologist Tim Haye of the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International in Delémont, Switzerland, and his collaborators spent a decade developing plans to release the European parasitoid wasp , a canola plant pest, in Canadian prairies.Classical biological control has logged some undeniable successes, such the release of the South American wasp ).That project preserved a staple crop and saved an estimated 20 million lives, earning its architect, Swiss entomologist Hans Rudolf Herren, the 1995 World Food Prize.Identifying the difference between honey bees and wasps is important in order to administer proper treatment of wounds and appropriate pest control. Some have entirely black bodies, while others are black or brown with orange or yellow striations.Wasps and honey bees are both members of the Hymenoptera order of insects. Honey bees are hairy, while wasps usually have smooth and shiny skin.Talamas, an expert on species, had recognized that some were samurai wasps. He had spent years studying the wasp in the lab to make sure that, if released, it would do its job without harming native species. Genetic tests confirmed that the wasps in Maryland hadn’t escaped from any of his quarantined strains. Over the decades, a variety of uninvited biocontrol candidates have popped up on new continents, including a fungus that kills forest-stripping gypsy moths and a beetle that devours allergy-inducing ragweed. “We’ve had this mindset that natural enemies would be less likely to establish” than invasive pests, he says.“The examples definitely are piling up,” says Donald Weber, an ARS entomologist in College Park, Maryland, whose team found the first U. But sometimes, “It might be fairly easy.” Those unexpected arrivals can unsettle scientists and regulators.


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