Annas Weblog


Grounded finally.
March 18, 2009, 11:16 am
Filed under: Travels | Tags: , , ,

So these were some hectic days. The ITB conferences or congress events were quite informative. Some of them were also quite unnecessary. However, the outcome makes me ponder whether it is the right time to step a foot into the tourism direction. Every little industry seems affected by the recession (except for the weapon industry and this is an outcome of the IWA – unfortunately no further details from me).

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Invasion of the Asian lady bug

Despite of the recent tightening of the German immigration act, there has been an uncontrolled – and quite impressive – invasion of the Asian lady bug in some parts of Northwest Germany. German authorities are stunned. Numerous facades of family homes and shopping malls have been covered with the little red black-dotted foreigner. In contrary to the endemic and well-known German lady beetle, the Asian beetle is endued with a changing amount of dots on its coat and the unique possibility to come in various colors, which is why one also refers to it as “multicolored Asian lady beetle”. Hence, a small number of Asian bugs may also appear black with red dots or just red with a few dots or red with many dots and so on and so forth.
Another distinctive feature is the black “W” on its collar. The German beetle usually wears a black collar with two white tips at the sides.

The Asian lady beetle was first introduced to Germany in the early 1920 to work for gardeners and farmers in the ongoing fight against rebelling aphids on German flowers and vegetables. Back at that time, work VISA for Asian beetles were controlled by the Ministry for the Environment, Agriculture and Forestry and not yet by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This, however, changed in the early 1950s and with the Iron Curtain, contacts to China were only maintained by the  Eastgerman side. Yet, temporary swarms of Asian lady beetles could be observed in the Northwestern part of Germany close to the Dutch border. At that time the beetle was mostly employed by tulip farmers in the Netherlands to fight the ongoing battle against the amaranthine aphids. To honor its achievements it was awarded the Dutch name: veelkleurig aziatisch lieveheersbeestje. After the German unity in 1990 Asian lady bugs could be employed again by farmers and gardeners throughout the country.

However, they feel home the most nearby the Dutch border.

For late-breaking footage, please click here: