Anorak News | Adopt A Wasp

Adopt A Wasp

by | 30th, September 2006

TODAY the RSPW announces a "citizen science" programme to investigate the apparent decline in the number of British wasps. ‘The Buzz’ will encourage picnicers to put a postcard piece of honey-coated film on the front of their hampers – a so-called splatometer – to measure the number of wasps that fly against it during a meal.

The fall in the number of domestic wasps can be directly linked to the increased popularity of foreign destination holidays. Less day-trippers on the beaches mean less dripping lollies and small children to hover around and sting. Alistair Harvey-Beam, head of the project, says that wasps form an important and vital constituent for the great British summer.

“These stinging insects are as part of the great British summer time as wet days, collecting bits of glass on the beach and Canon and Ball.” He says the public’s response to the campaign has been favourable and encouraging, although some elements have been critical. “People think this a joke, but they are very much mistaken. They won’t be laughing when all the wasps have gone,” adds Harvey-Beam.

Modern life means that not everyone has the time to go on picnics or to the seaside, so the RSBW has also introduced the Adopt A Wasp scheme, whereby members of the public can sponsor a wasp that has been captured and tamed. “We’ve been overwhelmed with requests for wasps,” says Henry-Jones’s assistant, Wendy Day. “It’s a campaign that’s been gathering momentum by the day. We’re thinking of extending it to include bluebottles, although not hover flies, which are the scum of the Earth.”

Posted: 30th, September 2006 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink