3 Apr 2015

Hopes wasp problem will be resolved

4:37 pm on 3 April 2015

The National Beekeepers' Association is hopeful that research into the biological control of wasps will uncover new ways to fight off the pests.

A German wasp on a thistle flower (file photo)

A German wasp on a thistle flower (file photo) Photo: 123RF

A Department of Conservation report released yesterday puts the economic cost of introduced wasps at $130-million per year.

It estimated the cost to beekeepers was about $9 million a year, through wasps attacking honey bees, robbing their honey and destroying hives.

Association president Ricky Leahy said those figures were not surprising.

"One of the main problems in the South Island especially is in the honey dew forests, the beech forests, you'll look up the side of a beech tree and it will just be bumper to bumper with wasps."

Mr Leahy said beekeepers were having to hunt down wasp hives and dump them elsewhere in a bid to get rid of them.