Thursday, October 17, 2013
A good beer guide for wasps .........?
In autumn, when wasps finish breeding, they turn their attention to anything sweet and often become a nuisance. One solution is to trap them in narrow-necked bottles container a mixture of jam and water - but there are other baits that can be used too.
Back in 2007 a researcher in the Czech Republic called Libor Dvorak tested out traps containing beer as a bait (he didn't mention which brand) and after trapping 3583 wasps of 8 different species at 131 sites across Europe, including several in Britain, found that three species including the common wasp Vespula vulgaris (above) were most prone to drowning in the traps. I suppose there are worse ways to go. If you want to read the original scientific paper you can download it by clicking here.
As far as I can tell, no one has ever followed up this research by testing whether wasps have a particularly preference for any type or brand of beer. Do they have a favourite tipple? Guinness? Fosters? Budweiser? Carling?
Clearly there's scope for some important and original research here. Maybe drink 95 per cent of the beer in ten different bottles, then line the bottles up and see how many wasps end up in each bottle?v At 131 sites across Europe?
My kind of experiment.