Imagine a scenario in which you’re routinely tending to your garden, just like any other day. You’re in the middle of an epic battle with the foreign invaders known as “weeds” when your ears shiver as they hear a genuinely frightening sound.
Buzz. Buzz Buzz.
Indeed, what you’ve just heard is the war cry of a bee? Wasp? Hornet? Now you’re confused. What exactly is buzzing, and is it my friend or my foe? Don’t reach for your rustic battleax yet, let’s go through a quick recap of what wants to be your friend and what wants to end your life personally.
Bees: These are the friendliest little critters you’ll ever meet! Sure, when provoked they will no doubt sting to defend themselves, but otherwise, bees only want to fertilize! A bee’s main priority is to couple with flowers and aids the process of creating the delicious fruits and vegetables you no doubt enjoy (unless you’re a pirate)! The bottom line is that the plants that you work tirelessly to defend cannot survive without our little bumbling friends.
You should keep in mind, however, that just because we’ve painted a cool picture of bees doesn’t mean that they won’t attack you. If a bee feels threatened, and there’s a chance that it will, it’ll swoop in for the kill. You may have been taught to stand still so that it may ignore you, but unfortunately, that little rule of thumb isn’t exactly correct. Your best bet may be the run. Just don’t kill them!
Wasps: These demons unleashed from another dimension wish for nothing more than your blood. They’re the crazy guy on the news who attempted to eat another person’s arm. They’re the epitome of a psychotic serial killer, who can also fly. Some wasp species do indeed pollinate, but for the most part, wasps are predatory insects that have a thirst for murder. In addition to maiming our friends, the bees, they also engage in attacking and harassing several other insects such as spiders, whom they terrifyingly paralyze and bring back to their young to feed. If you ever witness the flight of a wasp, drop your tools and run, preferably while screaming.
However, perhaps we’re being a little too hard on wasps, as believe it or not, not all wasps are evil! There exist a few solitary wasps in the mix that aren’t very interested in human beings and would instead mind their business performing their natural talent of pest control. Take a few steps unto your back porch and take a deep breath. Now, tell me, are there thousands of mosquitoes swarming you like you’ve brought them blood cupcakes? Hopefully not, as solitary wasps are experts at neutralizing mosquitoes and other annoying bugs. And hey, if you aren’t the biggest fan of spiders, maybe wasps can be your friend after all.
I still wouldn’t go near them, though. Keep your distance.
Hornets: You might be cowering in fear based on the description of the wasp, but you don’t know true danger unless you’ve encountered a hornet. There exist no species of hornet that doesn’t want to ruin your day and metaphorically drop flaming dog excrement in front of your door. Hornets are what you’d get if you multiplied a wasp times a honey badger, and then you threw in a drawing of an angry face. While some species of wasp also share this ability, Hornets have the new trait of being able to sting you over and over again. Their stinger doesn’t pop out upon contact with human skin. No, instead, they reload their shotgun and fire away once more, intent on leaving you a murder victim. Be careful around hornets, and like the other two insects, run.
Congratulations, you’ve hopefully learned a lot more about these three insects common in a garden such as yours! However, please note that instead of trying to identify what kind of buzzing insect is floating around in your midst, you might want just to run. Maybe come back with that rusty battleax of yours. Be careful out there.