European Wasp

Sometimes these are confused, as you can see the wasp is slightly larger than the bee, and has yellow legs and bright yellow and black stripes on their back half with black dots between the stripes, down each side of the abdomen. They are very aggressive and kill honeybees and rob their hives.

The following information came from :

European wasp and English wasp

The hymenopteran insects known as wasps can also pose quite a severe threat to the safety of humans and animals. Many species are capable of inflicting severe stings but two species which have gained prominence in some parts of Australia are the European wasp (Vespula germanica) and the English wasp (Vespula vulgaris). Both of these species have been introduced from overseas. The European wasp can now be found in Tasmania, Victoria, Sydney and some country areas of N.S.W. The English wasp can be found in Victoria.


The workers of both species are about the same size as bees but have conspicuous lemon-yellow banded markings on a black body. The colourless wings are folded longitudinally when at rest.


They construct rounded community nests, normally oval in shape, usually about 1 metre in length but, here in Australia, where colonies may live over winter, the nests may be 3 to 4 metres high and contain up to 100,000 individuals. They are predatory social insects and often act as scavengers in urban areas. They tend to nest around human habitation where there are greater opportunities for finding food. This food may include fruits, confectionery, cakes or soft drinks. European wasps also destroy honeybees. In spring and summer, the wasps are very aggressive and will swarm to attack anybody whom they consider a threat to the nest. The sting is more painful than that of a bee and each wasp may sting the victim many times. The wasp does not die after stinging.

This aggressive colonizer now threatens rural industries such as berry and grape growing and beekeeping and has the potential to impact adversely on tourism when they are very abundant at outdoor venues.

Seek pest control for wasps nests as they kill and rob honey bee hives.