Recently, the press box here at the Florence Freedom has seen a problem with the infestation of wasps. Since the press box is primarily where the Sons of Liberty do our work, we felt it was necessary to share this information.
Paper wasps are in the genus Polistes in the family Vespidae, which also includes potter wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets. We appear to have several medium-sized paper wasp nests in the corner of the press box. The paper wasp, native to North America, is thought to be less aggressive than yellow jacket and hornet species, only attacking if the nest is threatened. The average colony size for a nest is a couple dozen, so we have quite the problem on our hands.
On the other hand, wasps are very beneficial to humans and the environment. They are great scavengers, eating small flies and caterpillars that we consider pests. The rule of thumb for "recreational wasp watching" is to keep a safe distance. If the wasps are in a location where they aren't bothering anyone, let them have their space.
Now, are the wasps good or bad for baseball? We can't exactly recall when the wasps arrived, so it's hard to put a win/loss record together for the games they were in attendance. I do know, however, that Johnny Welch loves when the wasps are at the games. Over his last 5 games he is hitting .588 with 3 HR and 7 RBI. That's one vote for the wasps to remain in Florence.