WALKING around Hereford you may have noticed swarms of wasps on the hedgerow. 

It appears at first that there is a nest but actually the insects are seeking food in the autumn from ivy. 

The insects have been spotted by the River Wye on the path leading south from King George V playing field and at the Quarry in Tupsley. 

Research from the University of Sussex revealed that ivy is vital to honey bees and other pollinators seeking food in autumn.

For the ivy study, the researchers surveyed ivy flowers from rural and urban locations in September and October to count the honey bees and other insects foraging for nectar and pollen.

Ivy flowers are visited by a wide range of insects, such as late-season butterflies, hover flies, other types of flies, wasps, bumble bees, and the ivy bee (a bee that specialises on ivy). Insects were attracted to ivy flowers in large numbers in both urban and rural areas.

PhD student Mihail Garbuzov, who led the study, said: “In September and October ivy is the main game in town if you want nectar or pollen. Have a look for flowering ivy from mid-September to mid-October, when it is at its peak. On a sunny day you will be amazed at how many insects there are on it.”