From Iceland — Wasps Will "Definitely Come Again"

Wasps Will “Definitely Come Again”

Published June 10, 2020

Nico Borbely
Photo by
Magne Flåten/Wikimedia Commons

Exterminator Steinar Marberg Egilsson says that there could be many explanations for there being fewer wasps compared to this time last year, but that he himself does not remember ever seeing so few, Vísir reports. This is especially surprising given how nice the weather has been this spring, which would have suggested that there would be more wasps and honeybees.

“This could be something in nature; it’s happened before that wasps have died off because of mold growing in their nests. There are many potential explanations,” Steinar said in an interview in Reykjavík yesterday afternoon.

He says that it is not out of the question, however, that wasps could still emerge this season, and in fact considers it a likely possibility. Their numbers could even double if living conditions are good and they manage to build large nests. In that case Icelanders would start to notice them in July, when they would still be on the move, according to him. This would not, however, lead to the wasps becoming more visible than usual.

“Their cycle always goes like this: the males come into the nests at the end of the autumn and fertilize next year’s queens, which always happens at a similar time,” says Steinar, adding that practically the only purpose of the male wasps is to breed once.

“They’re always half-crazy when they leave the nests, as they go looking for sugar and coke and beer and all that in order to build up their reserves for the winter, and they become more aggressive than normal,” Steinar explains.

Unlikely That Rats Are To Blame

On the other hand, bumblebees could be in evidence in the area during this time, and Steinar says that Icelanders can expect to see more of them in the coming weeks, which is nothing to worry about.

“They’re perfectly good and peaceful, and we shouldn’t do anything to them, they do nothing but good things.”

When asked whether rats are to blame now more so than before, he says he does not think so. A few years ago there were many rats due to the lack of sewage treatment plants, but now there are many fewer rats in the capital area.”

“However, it might seem like there are more of them now because there is a lot of asphalting and closing off of drain holes on the street in the springtime. They tend to look up a lot, and youngsters often leave the nest to go exploring, causing people to more easily spot them,” says Steinar, adding that this is often much more evident near construction sites.

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