15 May 2008
UK Wasp and Bee Stings at Record Low in 2008 - A WaspWatch Report
Insect sting monitoring website "WaspWatch" has recorded the lowest level of bee and wasp sting activity during the first four months of 2008. The site has monitored sting activity across the UK for the last six years and whilst it is still early days for 2008, it is alarming to witness the decline in sting activty which is a good indication of the health of wasps and especially bees across the UK.
"The early months of our calendar year are usually dominated by bee stings rather than wasp stings and this year has undoubtedly seen a real drop in activity compared to previous years, " says WaspWatch chief David Glaser. "Whilst there has been some unfriendly weather this year it has been no worse than in previous years," Glaser continues.
The site reports monthly on sting activity and then weekly during the peak season from June to September so it is in a strong position to offer an up to date Sting Risk Index on its website as well as activity levels.
Of course the worry amongst naturalists is that there are various threats to the very survival of bees at the moment - the varroa mite is spreading rapidly. There is also the worry of a parasitic fungus which also threatens bee colonies.
"This is a real threat to our ecology", says Glaser, "and actual evidence such as this together with anecdotal reports of bee nests and hives dying should give us real grounds for concern."