Bees and Wasps


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:

   Honeybee  European Wasp
 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 nests

If you find a bee’s nest you can contact a beekeeper to collect them. Beekeepers can be found in the yellow pages.

Wasp’s nests

European 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 land

If you are aware of any nest of wasps on Council land, please contact us.

Keeping wasps away

European 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.