Family: Vespidae, e.g. Vespula vulgaris
- Yellow and black abdomen. Markings will differ according to species.
- Young Queens overwinter and emerge in the spring to start nest building and lay eggs.
- Workers (sterile females) emerge during early summer and take over nest building. Queen continues to lay eggs.
- New queens and males mate in early autumn.
- Nest dies during winter, including all the males and workers. Only Queens survive to the next year.
- Colony size — medium to large (up to as many as 25,000 individuals).
- Preferred nest sites — lofts, wall cavities, old rodent burrows, hollow trees and bushes.
- Nest construction — pulped wood (paper). Combs set horizontally. A new nest is produced each year.
- Swarming — does not swarm.
- Food preferences — Will take insects and sweet foods.
- Stings readily and repeatedly.