Sand bees settled on the beach volleyball court at Helmut Hoffmann Stadium in St. Blasen. So St. Blazine Sports Club closed the place and is now waiting to see what happens next. When volleyball players set up the field some time ago, they noticed bees, says President Gerhard Kappenberger. He and also department head Diethard Roger, who works as a veterinarian in St. Blazine, conducted research. “It quickly became apparent,” Kapenberger says. Wild bee species, which are strictly protected and endangered, have the right to take up residence in the sands of the beach volleyball court. Similar cases, for example in the High Rhine, would have shown sand bees moving away again after a while. In any case, he already has the impression that flight operations on sports stadiums are decreasing, says the chairman.
Insect repellent comes first
It was a matter of course for him that the sports club shut down the site even without an official order, says Gerhard Kappenberger. According to his research, the habitat of sand bees is decreasing and the beach volleyball court is becoming ideal for small creatures. They live underground, veterinarian and department head Diethard Roger explains. They prefer to dig their tunnels up to half a meter deep in dry, warm and sandy soil. One bee takes care of one handle at a time. If they were killed by negligence, the offspring wouldn’t stand a chance either. By blocking the box, you are only protecting animals, as they are completely harmless to humans. The vet explains that a relatively soft stinger cannot penetrate human skin.
This is how it goes
According to Roger, when the brood hatches, the old bees move in, but the new generation stays in the ground for a year. So it is unclear if the course can be played again from the summer. This should be clarified with the Nature Conservancy.
Possible measures to keep sand bees away can only be considered at a later time. The procedure should only take place in consultation with the authorities and experts. Only negative measures can then be considered: shading or spraying may make the place unattractive to bees – they will then look for a new place to stay.
In any case, experience from other beach volleyball courts has shown that old bees, having abandoned a vicious brood, do not return to the court the following year. So wait and see, Kappenberger and Rüger say.
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