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Calgary bug expert worries early season will hurt insect populations

Click to play video 'Bugs hatching, mating early in Calgary this spring' Bugs hatching, mating early in Calgary this spring
WATCH ABOVE: Lots of creepy crawlies are hatching early because of our record temperature-breaking spring, including some pests like wasps and flying ants. While many of us aren’t thrilled about that, we’ll live with it. But as Mia Sosiak reports, a local bug expert is worried about them – Apr 21, 2016

It’s only April, but many Calgarians are spotting insects in their backyards that shouldn’t be out yet, including flying ants, bees, wasps and moths.

Photo: Steve Melanovich.

They hatched nearly three weeks early this year because of record warm temperatures this spring, experts say.

But one pest control company started getting calls about insects around Valentine’s Day.

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“In February, to get bees at all …you know, they should be deep in their beds,” said Bill Martin, who owns Martin’s Pest Control.

There have been swarms of flying ants seen in northwest Calgary. Martin responded to a call about them on Wednesday. He said there is little you can do about them besides vacuuming them up.

Meantime, bees buzzing around the city have little to feed on, because there are few flowers blooming yet.

“Where are they going to get the food to rear their young essentially, the larva?” asked John Campbell, manager of the Invertebrate Section at the University of Calgary. “There’s nothing out, so they can potentially starve or abandon their colony right now, and then suddenly we have a lot less pollinators later on in the season — that’s my major concern.”

Swann said it’s also a concern for birds that eat bees.

He added that rain in the forecast for this weekend could help green up the city and get flowers blooming, which will be good for the entire ecosystem.