The European wasp is native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. However, the European wasp has spread from its native range to North America, New Zealand, South Africa, South America and Australia.
The European wasp worker is roughly the same size as a bee, at approximately 15mm in length, but has conspicuous bright yellow banded markings on its black body and is not as hairy as a bee. The queens and the males are larger, at roughly 17mm to 20mm long, but with markings like the workers.
Attracted to foodstuffs and drinks, European wasps can interfere with outdoor activities. Unlike a bee, the European wasp can sting repeatedly, especially if its nest is disturbed.
European Wasp stings can be severe and require first-aid for human and domestic animals alike. Unlike a bee, which can only sting once (and leaves the stinger behind in the skin), the European wasp can sting repeatedly. It emits a scent chemical (pheromone) that alerts other European wasps to attack.