Beewolf wasp entering the nest - taken by Richard Warton

Beewolf wasp

The Beewolf wasp – Philanthus triangulum – is one of the largest (up to 17 mm) and most spectacular solitary wasp species in Britain. It can be distinguished by the unfolded wings and thickened antennae. The abdomen and face are extensively yellow and the back of the head behind the eyes is reddish-brown. The wing venation will confirm identification.

The major prey species throughout the world range of this wasp is the worker honey bee – Apis mellifera.

In the 1990s this species was considered to be one of the great aculeate rarities in Britain. Records for the last few years indicate that currently the species is increasingly common in a steadily increasing number of sites in southern England.

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