Body length 10 - 17mm. The queen is black with a broad yellow collar on the thorax, a yellow band on the abdomen and an orange/red tail. The worker is like the queen but the yellow abdominal band is not so strong (or missing). The male has more yellow with yellow hairs on its face.
Woodland edge, hedgerows, parks and scrubland. Sometimes uses old bird nests to build its own nest in.
Status and distribution
Common and widespread throughout most of Britain but a little less in north-west Scotland. Common in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons.
Best time to see
March to July.