Wasps live as colonies in nests of honeycomb-like cells. They form complex social groups and all members of a colony help raise the young.
German and common wasps live in large colonies, about the size of a soccer ball. These colonies can become huge if they manage to survive over winter. German wasp nests are grey. Common wasp nests are brown. The world's largest recorded wasp nest was discovered at Waimauku (near Auckland). It was 3.75 metres tall and 1.7 metres wide.
New Zealand has some of the highest densities of German and common wasps in the world. This is because they have no natural predators here, our winters are mild and there is plenty of food for them.
The Paper wasp builds small nests out of regurgitated woody material, about the size of a pear.
The venom from a wasp sting contains several toxins that can cause a hypersensitive or allergic reaction in some people.
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