The higher than average temperatures are a problem for many birds, but they are ideal for wasps. “Many wasp queens have successfully overwintered and benefited from the warm spring,” reports the Berlin regional association of the Nature Conservation Union (Nabu).
The need for advice is correspondingly high. “We’re definitely having a wasp year,” says Stephan Haertel from Nabu’s Hymenoptera Service, who takes care of the preservation of specially protected hymenoptera such as wasps, hornets and wild bees. “We get three times as many calls about wasps as usual.”
In order to be able to record the number of wasps more precisely, the Nabu asks the Berliners for help. The “Insect Summer” counting campaign started this Friday. The six-legged friends are to be counted and reported to Nabu by August 14th.
Anyone can observe and count – almost anywhere: garden, balcony, meadow, pond, stream or river. The observation area should not be larger than about ten meters in any direction from your own location.
Each hour is to be counted. Observations can be reported using the online form or the free web app “Nabu Insect Summer”. Nabu provides information about the individual species on the “Insect trainer” website.
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According to Nabu, in midsummer attention is focused on the table wasps, i.e. the German and common wasp, which land on cakes, ice cream and lemonade in search of energy-rich food.
However, these two species are only a small minority in the group of wasps. There are a total of 600 different species in Germany. According to Nabu, social wasp species such as the Saxon or the medium-sized wasp rarely come into contact with humans and are therefore hardly known.
“Most wasps raise their brood alone, some species form large social communities with several thousand animals. Many social wasps hunt mosquitoes for their brood, other bees or spiders,” says Härtel.