The beginning of the Games marks the first pinch point in the Hunger Games. After that, we’re cruising onwards towards the midpoint shift.
There are a couple of things that make this section of text unique. Katniss is entirely alone, and we see very little backstory. (Which makes perfect sense, honestly, I think if we were inundated with backstory right after the gong sounded, well, that makes for some unhappy readers).
But there’s a soft reset. New setting, so new setting details. Staying true to hunter form, the reader gets the arena from the survival filter.
For the bulk of this section, Katniss is reacting. Running away, focused on survival. Very specifically not taking chances.
So the Gamemakers throw some chaos at her, to keep things moving. But she’s still reacting, still not taking chances.
And right at the halfway mark of the book….
Katniss sees an opportunity. She can attack. She can make a definitive move. (In my extremely humble opinion,) the tracker wasps are a beautiful midpoint shift for the book. Not only does it escalate what happens later, this is Katniss doing something big.
As a part of this sequence, we get some new information, as well. Right before the wasps, Haymitch sends her a gift. So he is, indeed, looking out for her, and will send her things when she desperately needs it. And second, Peeta warns her away instead of killing her.
The wasp incident hurls us into the second half of the book. No more preparing, no more waiting to respond. Part III is the phase of the story where the character becomes a warrior. And what better a way to herald the warrior phase than by dumping angry wasps on your enemies?