A warning was issued yesterday that we may well be in for a swell in the number of wasps and wasp nests this year owing to the type of Winter we have experienced. When anyone mentions the word wasp most of us think of the yellow and black insect that dons a painful punch in the form of a sting. There are however many more varieties the largest of which is the Hornet (Vespa crabro), followed by the two versions that we see around sweet sticky foods and fruits the Common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) and the German wasp (Vespula germanica), the Red wasp (Vespula rufa), the Tree wasp (Dolichovespula sylvestris), the Norwegian wasp (Dolichovespula norwegica), and the Median wasp (Dolichovespula media) a species that arrived in Britain around 1980.
Whilst venturing up into the loft, I was surprised to see the small circular beginnings of a German wasp nest attached to the main beam overhead and neatly packaged in a little space on the right-hand side of the wood. Both the Common and the German wasp nests are created out of a sort of paper which is made by the wasps. German wasp nests differ from the Common wasp nests in their colour, as the German wasp nest is grey in appearance.
German wasp (Vespula germanica), nest