A team of Richmond scuba divers are doing their bit for river life in the Thames by organising an underwater litterpick.
Members of the Richmond Sub Aqua Club, a branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club will spend this afternoon clearing rubbish from a section of the River Thames.
It seems London is in the grip of a wasp infestation and things could be about to get worse. For Sfekso-phobics, or those afraid of wasps, it's not good news. Martin Stew's been to find out what it could mean.
After a couple of years of lower than average numbers, London's wasp population has bounced back to full force.
As Martin Stew explains, wasps will remain in the UK for an extra three weeks.
We all know that wasps can sting repeatedly, but here are some facts about wasps which you may not know:
- The venom in wasps contains a pheromone that causes other wasps to become more aggressive
- Wasps live in colonies that form self-contained communities, each following a caste order of queens, males and workers
- Wasps don’t swarm.
- A male wasp is called a Drone. The job of the Drone is to mate with the Queen. After they have fulfilled this mission, they die shortly afterwards.
- European Hornets strip the bark from trees, causing damage to trees and shrubs.
- Wasps feed their young meat e.g. insect larvae.
- The only wasps that survive the winter are young fertilised queens.
- In late summer, the colony produces males and new queens. They fly away to mate and the queens then find a place to hibernate. The cold weather eventually kills the males, workers and foundation queen.
Stuart Roberts, an entomologist and chairman of the Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society has said that wasps are not "especially aggressive" this year, but are generally defensive insects, after it was reported that London is a "hotspot" for the creatures.
– Stuart Roberts, chairman of the Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society
The reason it appears that there are more wasps around this year is because the past couple of years have been terrible for the wasp population.
This year, they have had a long hibernation and have come out a bit later into a good summer, a summer full of juicy bugs etc for them to feast on.
The numbers...are not unusually high then.
Britain is being plagued by an explosion in the wasp population triggered by the cold winter and late spring, experts have warned.
The wasp population has exploded and billions are emerging from their nests to feed, three weeks later than normal.
Bumper fruit crops mean the insects have plenty to feed on until they either die or go into hibernation in the autumn.
Britain's largest offshore wind farm has been welcomed by the chief executive of Friends of the Earth, who said that it is an energy scheme to be "proud of". Andy Atkins said:
The UK has some of the best renewable energy resources in Europe, but ministers aren't doing nearly enough to develop this huge potential and create thousands of new jobs.
David Cameron must end his Government's support for climate-wrecking gas and oil and get behind a clean energy revolution that puts the long-term future of our economy and environment first.