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YELLOWJACKETS

INTRODUCTION: Yellowjackets receive their common name from their typical black and yellow color pattern. They are worldwide in distribution with about 16 species occurring in the United States.

RECOGNITION: Adult workers are about 3/8-5/8” long depending on the species, with their respective queens about 25% longer. Body usually banded with yellow and black.

HABITS: Most of the yellowjacket species are ground nesting. However, the German yellowjacket usually nests in buildings in the Northeast. Yellowjackets can sting a number of times, inflicting much pain.

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Stinging_YJ_02.pngBIOLOGY: Yellowjackets are social insects and live in nests. The adults are represented by workers who are sterile females, queens, and males, which come from unfertilized eggs and usually appear in the late summer. Nest size varies from 300 to 120,000 cells, averaging 2,000 to 6,000 cells, usually contains 1,000 to 4,000 workers at its peak. The newly emerged queens and males leave the nest and mate. Only the inseminated queens hibernate and survive the winter. The founding queen, the workers, and the males all die.

 

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