Perfect Weather For Wasps - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Perfect Weather For Wasps

Published May 6, 2015

Photos by
Magne Flåten/Wikimedia Commons

As sunny skies and relative warmth have visited the capital area lately, Icelanders are not the only ones enjoying the fair weather: so are wood wasps.

Vísir reports that the wasps, of the variety Dolichovespula norwegica, have made an early appearance in Reykjavík, thanks to both a mild winter and fair late spring.

“The winter has been good to them,” entomologist Erling Ólafsson told reporters. “There was plenty of snow but not much extreme cold. But they won’t really begin to take off until about mid-May.”

Erling added that other wasps in Iceland, such as the common wasp (Paravespula vulgaris), are having a rougher time of it, as they typically enjoying warmer temperatures than Iceland has experienced lately. He suspects they could even be on their way to dying out completely in Iceland, much like the German wasp and red wasp before them.

Common wasps were first discovered in Iceland in 1977. Within a decade, the creature managed to distribute itself over much of the capital area, and are a relatively common fixture of Reykjavík summers today.

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