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Science Learning Hub
Cotton proves good number 8 wire subsitute in fight against wasps
An environmental catastrophe on the Chatham Islands has been averted thanks to some good old Kiwi ingenuity. Environment Canterbury (ECan) biosecurity officers based on the islands have successfully wiped out a population of German wasps – the first ever established on the Chathams.
Stung! - SCHOOL JOURNAL by Phil Lester WITH illustrations by Scott Pearson
Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2019 Learning area: English Curriculum level: 2 Reading year level: 4 When Janet set out to check the fences on her remote sheep farm in Taumaranui, she had no idea that her life would soon be in danger. Based on a real event, “Stung!” recounts what happened when Janet stepped on a wasps’ nest and was attacked by a swarm of angry insects. With no cellphone reception and no one there to help, Janet’s survival depended on incredible stamina and determination...
Why is the Wasp a Pest? — SCHOOL JOURNAL
Series: School Journal Level 2 May 2019 Curriculum level: 2 Reading year level: 4 Category: Non-fiction by Phil Lester If you’ve ever stood on a wasp, you’ll know they have a very painful sting. But bees can sting, too, and we don’t think of bees as a problem. So why do most people think of the wasp as a pest?
Honeydew: The Food of the Ngahere — VIDEO
Our native forests – ngahere – have complex ecosystems. These ecosystems are under threat from introduced wasp species. In this episode of Project Mātauranga, Associate Professor Jacqueline Beggs shows us the life that resides below the surface in the forest and explains the work needed to restore the balance within these ecosystems.
Insects and forest ecosystems — TEACHING RESOURCE
While it is well known that native birds and plants are under threat from introduced species, it is less common for people to think about the risks to our native insects. Foreign wasp species eat honeydew – but instead of just sipping the droplets, they consume the filament tube, killing the scale insect. Wasps are responsible for up to a 90% reduction in the amount of available honeydew in some forests. This food loss affects the whole ecosystem – birds, beetles, moths, sooty moulds...
Bioforce – breeding bugs for biocontrol — TEACHING RESOURCE
New Zealand might be an island nation, but that doesn’t stop us from having to deal with a variety of unwanted organisms that find their way to our shores. These pests range from insects like the clover root weevil and varroa mite to Asian date mussels and the fungi Austropuccinia psidii that causes myrtle rust. These invaders threaten our native biodiversity, the quality of our waterways and natural environment and our primary industries such as horticulture.
Angry wasp versus hungry ant — TEACHING RESOURCE
Scientists at Victoria University were amazed to witness a hitherto unknown behaviour among introduced wasps (Vespula vulgaris) – when competing with native ants (Prolasius advenus) for protein-rich food, the wasps will pick up their competitors with their mandibles, fly off backwards with them and drop them. As the number of ants on the food increases, the wasps become more frantic with their ant-tossing activities and take the ants further from the food.
Action needed on NZ's wasp problem — TEACHING RESOURCE
Introduced wasps have become so abundant in many native forests, especially over summer months, that they now pose a major health and safety risk to those working and playing outdoors, as well as impacting on our native biodiversity, experts at a workshop hosted by Victoria University warned.
'Aggressive' wasp numbers skyrocket, threatening millions in damage
Wasp populations are rising across Auckland and threatening to cause significant environmental and economic harm, experts say. Auckland Council biosecurity advisor Emma Edney-Browne said data indicated the "aggressive pests" had a growing presence in the region.
Middle Earth wasps — SLH
Wasps are usually the bad guys when it comes to New Zealand’s biodiversity, but some good news has come out of Middle Earth. In December 2013, Landcare Research reported that six new native wasp species had been described and published in the science journal Zootaxa.
German wasps 'dropping out of the sky' as beekeepers report more attacks
Predatory wasps native to Europe are "dropping out of the sky" to attack beehives, according to reports from beekeepers. The reports follow warnings from experts that a rising wasp population could pose significant threats to native wildlife and production. "German wasps in particular are growing in numbers this year. They are the most prolific across the country and highly predatory in terms of how they operate," he said.