The Big Wasp Survey

That’s it!  Thank you.  The period for trapping wasps in now complete.  If you have packages of wasps in your freezer, please remember to login and tell us about what you found. You will also find details on how to send us your wasps.

Wasp-love swept the nation again this year! We are overwhelmed with the enthusiasm for the Big Wasp Survey in 2019! Thank you, citizen scientists of the UK!

We are making some changes to how we ask you to sample wasps this year.  Find out how and why here.

In 2018, details of over 2,500 traps were submitted via this website, so thank you all again for taking part. We were delighted by the support that we received and are excited to report that the number of traps submitted in 2018 has exceeded 2017’s by quite a margin.


The Science Behind The Big Wasp Survey

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.

More About the Project

Wasps are ecologically essential insects. Both predators and pollinators, the social wasps (those yellow and black insects that bother us at picnics) live fascinating social lives and are much undervalued, even despised. However, just like their more glamourous cousin the honeybee, wasps are suffering as we change habitats and spray insecticides.

The Big Wasp Survey aims to gather important scientific data to help to quantify wasp species abundance, diversity and distribution.

The Team

Dr Seirian Sumner

University College London

Reader in Behavioural Ecology, University College London.

Seirian Sumner is an evolutionary biologist who is interested in understanding how and why animals behave. Her research focuses on social insects – ants, bees and wasps (well, mostly wasps actually!). She combines welly-boot field ecology with molecular analyses to reveal a genes-to-behaviour understanding of social behaviour, ecology and evolution. She recently published the first genome sequence for an aculeate wasp.

She is on a crusade to persuade the public and science communities that we should appreciate, rather than hate, social wasps.

The Big Wasp Survey is her first foray into citizen science!

The Sumner Lab Website

Cris Thompson

Cris is a lifelong advocate of science, a website guy and all round digital master; web applications, 3dprinting, game design. Cris works for Octophin Digital who specialise in making websites and apps for the conservation and arts sectors.

He met Seirian and Adam in the rainforest and made this website with WordPress.

Fluster Design



The Rest of the Team

There are lots of people involved in the Big Wasp Survey.  Find out who.


Professor Adam Hart

Professor of Science Communication, University of Gloucestershire

Adam Hart is an entomologist, broadcaster and writer who combines his interests in research and teaching with a passion for communicating science. He has been involved in a number of citizen science projects including the Flying Ant Survey, a house spider survey and a survey looking at what causes starling murmurations.

Adam’s Wikipedia Page

University of Gloucestershire

Contact Us

@bigwaspsurvey on Twitter