All the wasps found in the United Kingdom, with the exception of the hornet, are very similar with black and yellow bands on their body and two pairs of wings.
In Spring, the queen leaves her hibernating quarters to seek nesting sites. These could be holes in the ground, hollow trees, sheds, loft spaces etc.
The queen starts to build her nest with a papery material that she makes by chewing wood mixed with saliva; this is known as wasp paper. She will raise the first few workers who will then enlarge the nest and care for the immature wasps to follow. The nest construction starts in Spring and will reach its maximum size in September, when up to 10,000 workers may be present. An old nest is not used in subsequent years
Wasps usually eat insects, which are mainly garden or household pests. They also feed on dustbin waste and animal carcasses.
A wasp, unlike a bee, can sting many times. Although the wasp sting is not normally serious, it can be very painful, and in certain cases can cause a severe reaction. They can be beneficial to gardens.