With an abundance of beech forest the Abel Tasman attracts a very unwelcome guest every summer – wasps.  Beech forests can be home to an estimated 12 nests, or 10,000 worker wasps, per hectare. This makes the total combined body-weight of wasps in these areas higher than the weight of all native birds, stoats and rodents, put together.

 

Wasp control greatly improves visitors’ experience of the Abel Tasman, and also provides substantial biodiversity benefits. Wasps consume massive amounts of honeydew, which is an important food for native birds, bats, insects and lizards. They also eat huge numbers of native insects, upsetting the natural food chain of the forest.

Project Janszoon, DOC and the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust have successfully undertaken regular wasp control over the Coast track, Pitt Head and Falls River block.  We use Vespex®, a protein bait which targets wasps and is not attractive to bees.

The wasps take the bait back to their nests to feed their larvae, destroying entire nests from one bait-station. Monitoring has seen wasp numbers reduced by over 95 percent each season.