Whether eating cake on the balcony or walking through the park - wasps buzz around in many places. According to the Nature Conservation Union, there are several reasons for the excessive number of useful pests this year.
They buzz in flocks, preferably over richly laid tables outdoors, and make many people nervous. And this year, a particularly large number of wasps seem to be out and about in Germany. "Our data indicate that we will have a wasp year in 2022," confirms biologist Stephan Haertel, wasp expert from the Nature Conservation Union (NABU) Berlin. In addition, there have been three times as many cases of advice on wasps at NABU as in the past year. "This also suggests that there are currently a particularly large number of nests and therefore a particularly large number of wasps," says Härtel.
In addition to the dry, hot weather, which is very good for wasps, unlike many other animals, there are other reasons for the high number of striped buzzers. This spring, a particularly large number of wasp queens were out to found a nest. Because there was no long period of cold during the sensitive phase of the start-up, around May, the animals got through well, Hartel explained. This has resulted in a sizeable population with large numbers of broods, which is currently at its peak.
In addition, wasps are currently particularly noticeable because they are increasingly interested in human food, says Härtel. This is due to the fact that many smaller insect species are hardly or not at all available as food for wasps in the high summer temperatures in August.
"It is the common wasp and the German wasp in particular that are very present in our perception," says the NABU expert. These two species would also often fly to the set table. They can be distinguished by a different drawing on the head. The drawing of the common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) looks like an anchor, while the German wasp (Vespula germanica) usually has three dots.
Haertel expects that in a few weeks the number of wasps will seem a little lower again. In September the number of female workers decreases and there are no new offspring. Until then, it is important to be careful and alert when dealing with the animals, but to remain calm. In the vast majority of cases, wasp nests could stay where they are and usually do not necessarily have to be moved if you are prepared for it, says Härtel.
The best way to get rid of the animals at the table is to prevent the first wasp from sitting on the food right from the start. “Once word gets around that there is something delicious, then the situation is more difficult,” says the NABU expert.
(This article was first published on Wednesday, August 17, 2022.)