What Does a Queen Wasp Look Like?

The Queen Wasp is a female wasp that has acquired full maturity, are mandated to lays eggs, and raise a new generation of wasps. What Does a Queen Wasp Look Like?

The queen wasp is specially fed and treated by worker wasps while resting.  It is not assigned any other duties.

How do you Identify a Queen Wasp? The simple answer to this is that, Queen Wasp is naturally larger than all other female workers and drones (males).

This is due to special care given to the queen wasp by the workers. In addition, the Queen Wasp can either be red, brown, metallic blue, yellow or combined stripes of these colors. 

Related: Can Wasps Sting More Than Once?

Details: How to Identify a Queen Wasp

A Queen Wasp is a mature (adult) female wasp that has been treated specially by worker wasps (female) and is assigned the role of laying eggs and raising a new generation of wasp.

The queen wasp, therefore, mates with drones (male wasps from other nests) for the entire of its life and it is mandated to raise new queens who would in turn raise new colonies elsewhere.

To identify the Queen wasp, you can look for the following features, sign or traits in a given wasp nest:

1. Shape and size

Normally, Queen Wasp is larger than any female wasp (worker) or drone (male) in any given wasp nest. The large size is due to special meals fed to the Queen Wasp, which also makes it acquire hormones that boosts its growth.

The shape of the queen wasp is round and elongated. Its chest protrudes slightly as compared to other wasps. The triangular-shaped head of Queen Wasp and a distinctive ‘waist’ having a sharp pointed stinger gives it a clear identification.

NB: It is only female wasps (even the queen) that have stingers, which they use for self-defense.

2. Color

The Queen Wasp may be yellow, brown, metallic blue or red. Some species of wasp has a queen which has black and white stripped abdomen – these colors are brighter than that of other wasps within the nest.

3. Winter Appearance

Most of the worker wasps and drones die before winter due to fall in temperature. The Queen Wasp migrates and hibernates in a new place waiting to lay eggs. This is clear that any wasp you will see during the winter season must be a Queen wasp. You can see them if you visit any wasp nest in your area.

4. Movement

Normally, the Queen wasps do not move about in the colonies of wasps. It remains in a given cell where worker wasps feed it. You will see worker wasps moving back and forth at a given point where they could be feeding the Queen wasp. Moreover, the Queen could be surrounded by new young wasps for mother care.

5. Security

The Queen cell is given tight security by the female workers. You will notice, in any wasp nest, that there are wasps that surround a given area and seem not to leave – this could be one of the cells having the queen wasp.

Related: Baby Wasp in your House?

How Big is the Queen Wasp?

The Queen Wasp is bigger than the rest of the wasps in a given wasp nest – including fake wasp nests. To be precise, most Queen Wasps will measure between 2 to 2.5cm approximate lengths.

This may go up slightly, but not beyond 3.8cm. The worker wasps are slightly smaller in length – it approximately measures 1.2cm to 1.8 cm.

The Lower abdomen of the Queen Wasp is sharp pointed and are longer as compared to other wasps.

How Does a Wasp Become Queen?

The journey of the wasp to becoming the future queen begins when the mother queen mates with the drones just before winter. Then, the mother queen leaves the wasp nest to new place where it hibernates.

The laid eggs hatch to larvae in wasps nest cells from where they are fed by the queen using its chews. These larva are expected to mature and become female wasps (workers).

However, the larvae that will become the new queen is specially fed by the mother queen. The research shows that, the new queen larvae contains more proteins that other larva and that it is usually larger.

On reaching maturity, the female wasps in the first generation are assigned job of building the new nests, feeding the next generation larvae and beefing security in the nest.

Nevertheless, the Female Wasp that is expected to be a new queen is not given much work and is overfed further.

It is believed that, through the help of the mother Queen wasp, the female wasps selects one of their own to be the new queen of that nest. There is no scientific facts accorded to this belief.

Once the new queen achieves full maturity, the mother leaves the nest and goes to die away or it remains in an individual cell until it dies while the newly crowned queen wasp takes over the leadership role.

The New workers works collaboratively and submissively to achieve every assignment given by the new queen even if they were of same age and generation.

How does the Queen European Wasp Look Like?

This species of wasps is slightly small. The workers feeds the queen until it acquire a triangular shape after which it’s given the leadership mantle. The queen is approximately 2 cm long when fully grown.

The body of Queen European Wasp is bright yellow in color with black triangular stripes that runs to the tip of the abdomen. The wings incompletely cover the queen’s abdomen.

Should I kill a Queen Wasp in a Wasp Nest?

If you intend to eliminate a wasp colony, killing the queen is a brilliant option. We know that the queen is mandated with a role of laying eggs and raising new generation for its entire life. Some people use wasp foggers.

However, you will have to know the time at which you intend to kill the queen. As winter approach, the queen wasp leaves its nest after raising a number of generations to maturity.

Queen hibernates in the new place where it lays its eggs and broods. It is the work of queen to feed the first generation of larvae until they mature. In case you kill the queen at this stage, the larvae will dies of hunger thus preventing the wasp nest from spreading.

This brings to an end the entire infestation of wasp. Killing the Queen Wasp when the first generation has matured won’t work since any of the worker can be selected and become the next queen wasp.

When and where are you likely to see the Queen Wasp?

Queen Wasps are much protected insects in the Wasp colonies. They rarely move around as compared to workers or drones. It is expected that the Queen Wasp will remain in its cell for its entire life while workers would offer it food and continued security.

However, it may not the case. This is because; change of weather, brooding requirement as well as surveillance may force the Queen Wasp to move out.

You will expect to see Queen Wasp at the end of Spring and beginning of winter. This is the time when the Queen Wasp is looking for a place to hibernate. This movement may not be frequent.

The best time to see the Queen Wasp is at the end of summer and beginning of spring. This is the time the Queen Wasp fly around looking for drone to mate with (Queen Wasp does not mate with drone within its nest – this prevents inbreeding and helps in transfer of gene- hybrid vigor).

You will find the Queen Wasp in gardens, meadows, parks or in woodland. It becomes more vibrant during spring due to the slight fall in temperature that favor mating.

Also, you may slightly see Queen Wasp during end of Autumn and early summer since this is the time it build nest and lay drone eggs, which mature during the summer period. The last egg laid at the end of the summer is usually fertilized purposely to raise a new queen.

Are Queen Wasps be aggressive?

Yes! The Queen Wasp and female wasps contain stinger. In case the Queen Wasp detects any danger, it becomes very aggressive. It will command its soldiers (workers) to attach the enemies.

Moreover, the Queen Wasp will even come out of comfort zone and join its army in stinging you. The sting from wasp is very painful. Unlike bee sting, Queen Wasp can sting you severally at a single point without dying.

The Queen Wasp can also be aggressive in case you attacks its nest or disturb its growing Baby Wasp. Importantly, the Queen Wasp will sting even when in hibernation.

Hornets and Yellowjackets are the most aggressive species. They even sting your clothes and face protection severally without giving up.

Do Hornets Have Queen Wasp?

Yes! Hornets, like any other species of wasp, lives communally in wasp nest. They have one Queen Wasp whose role is to lay eggs, train the female workers and breed new generations of wasps.

Hornet Queens build a new nest by chewing wood to form a pulp that forms a papery structure with multiple cells in each chamber.

Do Wasps Have One Queen in Each Nest?

Each Colony of Wasps has only one Queen Wasp at a time. It is not possible to have two Queen Wasps in a given wasp nest. In case two female wasps mature to be queens (which is a rare case) then, one must leave with given number of wasps in that nest and build another wasp nest in a different location.

The only possible allowable time when the colony of wasp may have two queen wasps is when the mother queen wasp is nurturing the new young queen. This does not last for long since the mother queen leaves the nest to die away or passes the responsibilities to new queen and rests in one of the cells in the nest until it dies.

How Do Queen Wasps Build Wasp Nests?

The task of building the first wasp nest is left to Queen Wasp. It can build the nest wasp on the leaves, branches, overhangs, roofs, underground or woods.

Usually, the Queen Wasp uses the wood as raw material. It chews the wood and turns it into wood pulp.

The wasp nest building process begins by Queen Wasp selecting the best place to build it (roof, log, wood, ground or drawer).Using its mouth, The Queen Wasp digs the wood.

Then, it chews the wooden material thus mixing it with its saliva to form a soft paper pulp. It then flies to the site it want to build the nest.

It then, forms hexagonal cells in various chamber. The Queen will enlarge the size of the wasp nest until it suites the number of eggs it intend to lay. At times, the Queen Wasp may build the wasp nest with help of the first generation workers so as to train them.

How Many Queen Wasps Can as a Single Wasp Nest Produce?

The Queen Wasp will lay about 500 to 1500 fertilize eggs that hatch into larvae, pupate and mature to female wasps. Among these adult wasps, one is specially treated to become the queen wasp of the nest.

Then, the mother Queen migrates to establish another colony elsewhere. The new queen left in the old nest will bring up the new wasp generation, then leave to look for mate and create new colonies.

All the Fertilize eggs laid by the Queen Wasp has equal chance of becoming a queen once treated selectively by the Queen Wasp or the Workers.

Related: Best Gnat Repellent

Why Do Queen Wasp Leave Wasp Nest?

Normally, Queen Wasp will leave the nest in search of place to hibernate or build a new nest.

Also, the Queen Wasp may leave the nest in search of drones to mate with (it does not mate with drones in the same nest).

The Queen Wasp can hibernate in places such as back of trees, in the ground, under the roof or in the woods.

What Do Queen Wasps Eat?

The Queen Wasp usually feeds on flower nectar, small insects (larvae), aphids, arachnids (mainly spider) or fallen fruits.

The Queen Wasp is mainly fed with proteins by the workers to help it lay fertile eggs and also build its body for future breeding.

Can Queen Wasp Live Without Food?

During hibernation, Queen Wasp is sustained by the food it ate during the springtime. However, the Queen Wasp is able to store some of the food in its nest where it feed on it intermittently during the hibernation.

Normally, the Queen Wasp can stay without food for 20 to 100 days. It is usually in active dormancy. Other wasps such as workers and drones can only survive between 11 to 23 days without food.


Queen Wasp is a female wasp that has been treated specially by the workers and assigned the role of breeding wasp generations for its entire lifetime.

Though it may be difficult to notice the Queen Wasp in a given wasp nest, you can identify it by size and color. Queen Wasp is normally larger than other wasps in the wasp nest.

The Queen Wasp rarely move and is surrounded by worker wasp to beef security. It can have red, metallic blue, yellow, black or mixture of these colors too.

However, the colors are brighter as compared to those for drones and workers. Queen Wasp will move out of its nest when searching for mate or place to hibernate and breed.


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