Wasps (Vespula ssp) are yellow and black in colour, they have elbowed antennae and a constricted abdomen with a painful sting at the end. A wasp’s nest is only used once, and then abandoned. The fertilised queen emerges from hibernation in the spring and begins to build a nest from wood foraged from fence posts, garden sheds and tree bark mixed with salvia. The queen will then lay eggs and care for the grubs, feeding them on insects that she has gathered until they are fully developed at approximately 4 weeks of age. The queen then stays within the safety of the nest, laying eggs while the workers enlarge the nest and gather insects for food. Once the nest is fully developed, as many as 30,000 wasps may have been produced.
Wasps pose a health risk to persons, particularly to children, pets and persons allergic to the sting, which can cause anaphylactic shock and death. Wasps can spread bacteria from their body onto food, food preparation surfaces, and utensils and can cause physical contamination to foodstuffs.