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Common Missouri Wasps and Bees – TO BE STUNG BY AN INSECT is a painful and usually memorable event. We learn from an early age to recognize and avoid insects that are brightly patterned with yellow or orange and black, or that are slender and have slender and sharply pointed rear ends, or that buzz about in a menacing way. The perception that stinging insects are instinctively aggressive at any time and place is wrong, however, and blinds us to the role they play in nature’s balance. Stinging insects include species that are essential for the pollination of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Others are important predators of pest insects that eat both wild and cultivated plants. From this perspective, then, stinging insects are beneficial fellow creatures in this world. What is the real story about stinging insects?