[08 March/The Country]

A monster wasp nest in Hamurana, Rotorua entered into its fifth day of extermination. The 2 metre by 2 metre nest is from German waspsc and have a particularly aggressive species of wasps. The nest has been administered with three doses of poison. Chris Brunel, Owner and Operator of Bay Pest Services reported that it is the biggest nest he has seen in his 30 years of working in the industry. Mr Brunel stated that there has been a reduction of about 70 percent of the wasps, with hundreds of thousands of wasps covering the track below. Mr Brunel estimated that a nest that size would host over a million wasps. Researcher Dr Bob Brown from Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research said German wasp colonies had about a 10 percent chance of surviving through winter and this nest would have taken about 16 months to grow to its current size. Dr Brown reported that normally German wasp colonies grow to fit inside a 20 litre bucket however stated that humans should expect more colonies of a larger size as climate change progresses. Dr Brown stated that a single nest required a lot of protein and that honeybees and their honey are a preferred food source for the wasps.