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Large hymenoptera family with more than 3,000 different species. In viticulture in Central Europe, the German wasp (Paravespula germanica) and the common wasp (Paravespula vulgaris) are the most common, and occasionally the red wasp (Paravespula rufa) and the hornet (Vespa crabro). They overwinter as single, mated females. In spring they chew weathered wood and build honeycombs from it, in which eggs are laid.

Wespen auf Weintrauben bzw. mit dem Kopf in Beeren

The wasps (mainly workers' wasps) hatch after several larval skins and bite the grapes and eat the contents, leaving only the skin of the berries (see picture). Bees (which can only absorb liquid food) are the beneficiaries of berries stung by the wasps. In contrast to wasps, they cannot bite open the berry skin of the grapes, but only press it open with their head at fine hairline cracks, where they then suck up the sweet juice that escapes. As secondary damage the grapes are attacked by fungi or bacteria, which can lead to vinegar and green rot. Wasps are controlled by traps (narrow-necked bottles with bait = beer and berry juice). In contrast, the insect species gall wasps and ichneumon wasps are beneficial insects in viticulture. See also under vine enemies.

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