Emerging patterns in social wasp invasions.
Invasive species are a main driver of biodiversity loss and ecological change globally. Consequently, there is a need to understand how invaders damage ecosystems and to develop effective management strategies. Social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) include some of the world's most ecologically damaging invasive insects. In recent decades, the invasive social wasp literature has grown rapidly. This may be due in part to increased rate of introduction as well as greater public awareness of invasive wasps and their potential negative impacts on bees. Here, we investigate trends in invasive social wasp research, identifying the emergence of Vespa invasions, the mechanism-based inquiry into Vespula invasions, and the increased application of molecular methods to track invasive species through the invasion process.