Niamh Attridge and Marcelle Scadden are buzzing about protecting native insects and honey bees from introduced wasps. New Zealand has some of the highest wasp densities in the world - a serious issue that not only affects our environment, but our economy as well.
Introduced wasps out-compete native insects for food, putting unnecessary pressure on native species to survive. The negative impact they have on New Zealand’s economy is estimated to cost the country $130 million a year.
After researching introduced wasps, Marcelle and Niamh’s aim is to get the public involved in helping to mitigate or eliminate these pests from our environment. Nelson and Marlborough have a particularly high wasp population, especially in the Te Hoiere/Pelorus Sound, Richmond Ranges and Nelson Lakes. These places have vast beech forests - the perfect habitat for pest wasps - as they feed on the trees’ honeydew, which native insects and birds normally eat.
Niamh and Marcelle have published a brochure as part of their Year 13 Environmental Sustainability class at Marlborough Girls’ College. The brochure contains information about wasps and some of the methods used to eliminate them, as well as an identification flowchart.