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Wasps of concern

In the last 5 years, this tree in my garden would attract lots of bees. This year, I can only see wasps and some flies (bluebottles). The wasps of concern are really big, 2x the size of the usual one which is just bit bigger, longer and more streamlined than small bees.

These are usual wasps. Yellow and black.

These are the giant wasps. More brown and double the size.

This is the tree that feeds them

I don't know the species of the tree and insects.

I like wasps and insects in general, I am just worried that the bees are gone and about this giant brownish wasp. Maybe it could be that nasty European species.

Should I interfere to expel wasps and attract bees back? Is inaction attracting the "wrong" insects and perhaps creating a feeding ground for hostile wasps?

The garden has all the usual aphids and ladybirds, butterflies, spiders, bumblebees, slow warms, squirrels, several species of birds and more. It is a wonderful time of the year for watching wildlife.

I am looking forward to hearing your opinions.

Thank you


  • Those are NOT wasps, they are hoverflies, the gardener's friend. They mimic wasps and bees but they are easily distinguished because wasps and bees have obvious antennae, but flies have small inconspicuous antennae in the middle of the face.

    Enjoy them!
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    I'm pretty sure those are hoverflies, lucky you!  I'll check the ID but someone else may beat me to it. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,348
    Why would they be of concern if they were wasps?
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • GrannybeeGrannybee Posts: 326
    The European Hornet is not a nasty species. It feeds on insects and fallen fruit. It will only sting if provoked. Never disturb a nest.  The Asian Hornet predates on bees and if you find one it must be reported to the National Bee Unit, preferably with a photo for correct identification. 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,656
    Hi Alex, can't help with the wasp/fly ID but your tree looks rather like my variegated Euonymus japonica 'Aureus' although mine's not so tall!
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,955
    Look like hoverflies to me too. Brilliant little insects, and completely harmless. 
    They come in so many shapes and sizes too, from tiny little things you can barely see, to quite large specimens. Great pollinators. If you watch them for a little while, you'll see where their name comes from too   :)

    Thankfully, you've done the right thing and asked what they are @alex.stender. We get so many queries about insects, but the people asking have sprayed them with all sorts of chemicals first, without knowing what they are, and often end up killing lots of beneficial insects and pollinators.  :/
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,994
    Looks like Volucella zonaria
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • ALL - thank you very much for your answers. I am very grateful for the time you spent and detail provided.

    Hoverflies! Incredibly similar to wasps,  @Alan Clark2 in Liverpool.  I thought it was the European one that was bad, but it the Asian one that is nasty. Good to know about the National Bee Unit, @Grannybee. Thanks.

    @Fairygirl no, I have not sprayed anything! Even bought ladybirds to deal the aphids on the apple tree. 

    Yes, @Lizzie27 you might be right. Saw several photos of Euonymous japonicus flowering and it is remarkably similar.

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