Bees and wasps are different: the European wasp has bright yellow legs and body and black triangular markings on its body. Wasps are larger and less hairy than bees. European wasps can sting many times and do not die after stinging.
Other ways to tell them apart are in the table:
|Colour||Amber to brown||Black with bright yellow stripes|
|Body||Hairy||Usually smooth and shiny|
|Flying||Legs are visible when flying||Legs are tucked away when flying|
|Nests||Large honeycombed nests that may be visible or sheltered||Usually underground with an entrance hole but rarely seen|
|Sting||Can only sting once then dies||Can sting multiple times without dying|
|Behaviour||Not aggressive but will defend its nest||Very aggressive, will sting in most instances whether provoked or not|
|Food||Pollen and nectar from flowers||Sweet foods and drinks, decaying fruit and meat|
Bee’s nestsIf you find a bee’s nest you can contact a beekeeper to collect them. Beekeepers can be found in the yellow pages.
Wasp’s nestsEuropean Wasps have their nests in holes in the ground, walls and trees. You will usually see wasps entering and leaving a hole.
Do not disturb a nest during daylight. If disturbed, European wasps will release a chemical which brings other wasps to the nest as a defence. Keep family and animals away from the nest. If you find a nest, contact a pest controller. If you purchase products from hardware stores to remove them, make sure you read the instructions carefully.
Wasp nests on Council landIf you are aware of any nest of wasps on Council land, please contact us.
Keeping wasps awayEuropean wasps like meat and sweet foods, which is why they can be a nuisance at BBQs and picnics.
- Do not leave food scraps lying around.
- Make sure rubbish bins are closed.
- Cover food at BBQs and picnics.
- Where possible, avoid leaving uneaten pet food or dog bones outside.
- Keep compost covered.