St. Paul, MN (Minnesota News Network) – Nobody wants to be stung, but the state of Minnesota is considering a partnership with wasps.

A ground-nesting wasp known as the smoky-winged beetle bandit could become an ally in the battle against the emerald ash borer. More than 100 volunteers in 17 Minnesota counties are taking part in a 450 thousand dollar program to spot the wasp colonies.

They use the emerald ash borer as food for their off-spring. That means they can often give clues to where the ash tree killing insect is headed next.

The emerald ash borer arrived in the state six years ago and has been confirmed in eight Minnesota counties.