INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Weaponry For The War On Wasps

Published: Tue 16 Feb 2021 12:09 PM
Approval has been granted to import and release two new organisms, a hoverfly and beetle, in a bid to reduce plague populations of invasive German and common wasps in New Zealand.
The Tasman District Council applied to introduce the wasp-nest beetle, Metoecus paradoxus, and a hoverfly, Volucella inanis, for biological control of the wasps Vespula germanica and V. vulgaris.
The application quotes research that these wasps cost the New Zealand economy $133 million annually, in damages and management. It says beech forests at the top of the South Island have the highest densities of wasps in the world. There can be up to 30 wasp nests per hectare, each containing many thousands of wasps which kill honey bees and native insects like caterpillars and spiders.
In its application to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Tasman District Council said using the hoverfly and beetle as biological control agents would be a sustainable option to target hard-to-reach wasp populations, and would reduce the damage they cause.
The EPA has found no evidence of either the beetle or hoverfly attacking non-target species, and there are no native or exotic species they could breed with.
Following public consultation late last year, an EPA decision-making committee has now granted approval without controls for the release of the hoverfly and beetle in New Zealand.
"Invasive wasps pose a significant threat, having a negative impact on biodiversity and the food supply of native insects and birds such as kākā and tūī. The wasps also attack beehives, resulting in reduced pollination and honey production," says the EPA’s General Manager of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, Dr Chris Hill.
"We are pleased to be playing our part to support conservation and our primary industries."
The EPA is responsible for evaluating and managing the risks of introducing new organisms into New Zealand, under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. All hazardous substances and new organisms must be approved before they can be used in this country.
Read the decision (PDF, 574KB)
Read more about biological control agents

Next in New Zealand politics

Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far
By: New Zealand National Party
Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea
By: New Zealand Government
New Zealand’s New Housing Policy Is Really Just A New Tax Package — And It’s A Shambles
By: The Conversation
ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform
By: The Conversation
Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint
By: New Zealand Police
Drug-testing Law To Be Made Permanent
By: New Zealand Government
Minister Must Tell Us If He's Parked Hate Speech Laws, Or Not
By: ACT New Zealand
Emotive Live Export Ban A Kick In The Guts
By: ACT New Zealand
World Leading Live Export Ban Means Thousands Of Animals Will No Longer Suffer Overseas
By: SAFE NZ
Feds: Live Export Ban 'surprising'
By: Federated Farmers
Photographs Taken At Police Checkpoint Unlawful
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media