Beekeepers are being advised to destroy wasps nests before the insects have a chance to attack their honey bees.
North Island secretary of the National Beekeepers' Association Frank Lindsay says wasps have been a serious problem for the last two autumns and he expects this year will be no different.
He says there are reports of some huge wasps nests that have survived the winter.
And Mr Lindsay is advising beekeepers to seek out nests and poison them now before the wasps start producing queens in April.
He says to produce queens the wasps need carbohydrates which they get by attacking beehives for honey.
Mr Lindsay says beekeepers can lose hives this way and he personally lost 50 hives last year.