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Wasps and Hornets

Nearly All the British wasps that we will come across in our daily lives can easily be identified by their yellow and Black strips. They are fairly long, hairless and slender and honeybee in shape. Hornets are generally much bigger, may be black with a little orangey tinge.  

Wasps build their nests in various locations the most common are in roof spaces, garden hedges and underground under tree roots. Hornets normally nest high in tree canopies.

Like bumble bee queens, the queen wasp hibernates over winter and starts building her colony in May. Their nests are made from chewed wood that has been mixed with saliva and turned into a paper mache pulp which can be recycled as the nest grows.

Wasps are carnivorous and their main diets include caterpillars, other insects, nectar from some flowers and fruit. They will also attack bee hives in late summer. Their numbers can grow to many thousands within a single year.

In late summer the colony starts reproducing by raising new queens and drones. The whole colony dies off by November and only the queens survive to start from scratch the next year. Old nests are not reused so can be left alone and will gradually disintegrate.

In America wasps are referred to as                             yellow leather jackets.

wasps nest Vespula germanica wasp's nest with eggs