The German Wasp – scientific name Vespula germanica – also sometimes referred to as the European wasp (as is the Common wasp).
Around 13mm long it is very similar with its black and yellow colouring to the Common Wasp but they have different facial features.
A very successful species that have adapted to many habitats and climates, they are known to be destructive in their invasion of new territories and can cause harm to indigenous wildlife as they are very successful predators.
The German Wasp makes its nest by chewing raw materials such as plant fibres or wood from fences or trees, mixing with their saliva to create their grey coloured, paper-like conical structures. The nests are most commonly found below ground but are also known to inhabit attic spaces. The nests can house thousands of wasps and may have more than one entrance which is unusual.
These wasps do sting, usually in response to feeling attacked but they can also become aggressive when foraging indoors and becoming trapped. Like most wasp species their sting can cause many reactions in people from mild irritation to anaphylactic shock.
Their preference is for sugary foods which are probably why they always seem to be around when we are trying to enjoy our outdoor space.