Australian Native Wasps
Australia is the natural home of wasps. The native Australian wasp is beneficial to the ecosystem as it manages spiders, aphids, and other troublesome insects. If the nest is not in a crowded area or if no one in the house is allergic to bees or wasps, it is good to have bees and wasps.
The native Australian wasp has a stout body, an abdomen with bright yellow and black bands, and two black dots on each yellow band. They have two pairs of transparent wings, the first pair being the largest. They fly by holding their legs firmly against their body, and their antennae are black.
Native Australian wasps live in huge communal nests that are usually only visible through a small door. They are usually built underground or in cracks in logs, walls, or ceilings. Woodpecker nests can be found in the ground, logs, tree trunks, and wall and ceiling cavities. The native Australian wasp is native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor. In addition to Bowral/Moss Well, the Blue Mountains, Narendrara, Deniliquin, Albury, Wagga, Colombley, Griffith, Derryton, Junee, Forbes, Coonabarbran, Orange, Bathurst, and West Wyalong are now well established in the greater Sydney area. New Zealand also has native Australian wasps.
In the spring, a fertilized queen of a native Australian wasp lays an egg in several nest cells to start a new colony. The queen feeds these for a few weeks until they hatch into grub-like larvae. They become the first group of workers managing nest building and larval rearing while the queen concentrates on egg laying. The nest grows larger during the summer, and other queens and a brood of males emerge in the fall. A new generation of queens develops in several large cells that form in late summer. Before dying, the males also growl and mate with the queens outside the nest. The original queen dies in late fall, and the new queen disperses to find suitable places to overwinter before building a new nest in the spring. The old nest eventually collapses in Europe, and the scattered queens hibernate in shaded areas under loose tree bark or in treetops. The hibernating queen’s legs, wings, and antennae are folded under her as she clings to the substrate with her teeth and remains immobile for up to six months. It is remarkable that one of the new queens can stay in the nest and start laying eggs in Australia’s warmer climate without going through the usual hibernation phase. This can produce huge and potentially dangerous wasp nests over several seasons.