It's summer, the sun is shining across the UK, but there don't seem to be many wasps around. Why?
Summer has finally arrived and people have decamped to gardens, beaches and parks en masse. But something seems to be missing this year. By July people are usually swatting wasps away from picnics, barbecues and ice creams at an annoying rate.
Wasps usually start appearing in the UK around the beginning of May, depending on the species. So why are there so few of them around?
Numbers are low so far this year because of a huge decline in the wasp population in 2012, say experts. That drop was the result of fluctuating temperatures earlier in the year.
No quantitative data is available for wasp numbers in the UK. Unlike butterflies and bees, there is no official recording scheme, but many experts working in the fields of entomology, biodiversity and conservation say numbers appear to be significantly down.