FAWQ – Frequently Asked Wasp Questions

If you have a question buzzing about in your head that we have not already answered, drop us an email and ask us…

In a nutshell, we want to find out more about social wasps!
With your help, we aim to find more about which species live where. We hope to use the data you help us to collect this year, and in future years, to find out what factors are affecting wasp populations.
We may also be able to use the wasps you collect to find our more about how individual wasps of the same species differ across the country.
Unlike bees, all wasps are dead by the end of the summer, only the queens survive to make a new colony next year. We time the Big Wasp Survey to catch the wasps towards the end of their lives, but before the queens fly to over-winter.

At worst, we are shortening their lives by a week or so, but at this point of the year, their job is done, and the brood that they were foraging to feed has emerged.
Find out more about the lifecycle of wasps.

Have have a listen to Prof Adam Hart on Radio 4 last year talking about the need to kill insects for scientific research.

And have a read of our experiences last year and the backlash we experienced.

Last year the study caught zero queens and we had nationwide coverage. The study is based on known biology and data. Nests are still active in September but what the data show is that this activity seems to be only workers- and possibly males in some species although again not according to the data last year
We ask you to register because we want to limit the number of traps we have. This is mostly due to the time it takes our volunteers and students to identify the wasps in the packages you send to us.
We ask everyone to use the same trapping method:
7 days, trap made to our simple design, beer or orange juice.

This way we can reliably compare one trap to another and we have a standard method.
We ask everyone to use the same trapping method:
7 days, trap made to our simple design, beer or orange juice.
This way we can reliably compare one trap to another and we have a standard method.
Nope...

Wasps are voracious predators and they control plant pests like caterpillars and aphids. Without wasps many of the most common insect pests of crops and gardens would have very few natural predators and would eat all our food before it even got to our plates! It will also surprise you to hear that wasps also pollinate: in fact, there is evidence that they do as good a job as bees! A world without wasps would be a much worse place – so be careful what you wish for the next time one is flying around you. Find out more...
After your trap has been outside for 7 days, log back into your account to let us know what you've collected. You'll also find there the freepost address to send your collection back to us.
Each colour represents a different species that was found...

If you view the map full screen in Google, then the left hand panel is shown by default.
If you view it on the website ,then you need to click on the icon at the top left to expand it.

See the Map
We are doing things a little different this year. Last year when you registered you were given a trap number and told to remember it.
This year, you register a trap, and give us your email address and a password. Then we send you a link to click on which approves your registration. This improves security.
You don't need your trap numbers until you are ready to post us you wasps. In September you will be able to login and the website will show you your traps, trap numbers and the freepost address...