Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris)
What Are Common Wasps
The Common Wasp is found in Bristol and throughout the northern hemisphere. This wasp has also been introduced to countries in the southern hemisphere such as Australia and New Zealand.
The distinctive anchor shape in the centre of the wasps face makes it instantly recognisable.
Key Features of Common Wasps:
Length: 15 – 20mm long
Body: Black and yellow No black spots on its back
Face: Has an anchor shape on its face
Nest: Likes to nest in hollows in trees or in the ground etc with 3000 – 50000+ individuals
The Common Wasp is, as you would expect, by far the most commonly encountered British wasp.
The queen wasp emerges from winter hibernation in the spring and goes in search of food and a place to build her new nest.
These Wasps like to nest in hollows such as those in trees, walls, buildings or in the terrain itself, including those created by rodents and other similar mammals. This is a behaviour shared with the German wasp (Vespula germanica).
Many homes now have bike sheds and other smaller storage units in the garden that also prove particularly good locations for these wasps to nest.
The danger here is that in late spring when people go into the garden for the first time, they open the shed not realising that a nest has been built across the door frame, and split the nest in half and get swarmed.
Nests in Cavities may be enlarged over many months to accommodate the growing nest.
Other common nest sites for Vespula vulgaris include loft spaces, underfloor spaces via air bricks and another very dangerous location is compost bins.
At maturity, the nest will hold anything from 5000 – 50000+ individuals as this common species of wasp produces some of the very largest and thus most dangerous nests of any native paper wasp.
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