Social wasps are bright yellow and black stripes with yellow on faces and legs. Some solitary wasps can also be yellow and black, but others are blacker all over. They are about the same size as Honeybees but are generally not covered with fuzzy hairs. Also, they often have very defined narrow waist between its front end (thorax) and tail end (abdomen) along with long thick antennae. Like Bumblebees they have 2 pairs of wings but social wasps often hold them rolled up like a fan when they are resting.

Scientific name


Did you know..

Unlike honeybees, wasps do not make honey. There are estimated to be more than 9,000 species in the UK alone! The insects we most commonly identify as "wasps" are the social wasps (Family: Vespidae), but many wasp species are solitary and some are really tiny. As well as being voracious predators, wasps are increasingly recognised as valuable pollinators, transferring pollen as they visit flowers to drink nectar.

Similar species

bees and Hoverflies but wasps are shiny, less hairy and have a defined waist. Wasps have smaller eyes than Hoverflies and longer antennae

Useful links

The Garden Safari

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