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In the October issue it was reported that "Landcare Research ecologist Richard Harris has found that German wasps can successfully overwinter, resulting in a population explosion."

I wish to point out that Thomas (1960), 33 years ago, in his 74-page publication on Vespula germanica in New Zealand, devoted several pages each of text and illustrations to overwintering nests. He states that "during the mild winter of 1948 many nests overwintered." Most nests were in the Waikato, which is where Richard Harris is based. Several of the nests appear to have been larger than the biggest reported by Harris.

Since then, other researchers including myself have published on overwintering wasp nests in other parts of the country. Overwintering nests are also common in several other regions, such as Tasmania.

B.J. Donovan, Donovan Scientific Insect Research, Lincoln