Ok, this is the third time I've tried posting this so I'll make it short. Eltham South London Garden party Saturday. Black wasps everywhere. This one dived into my cider. Any Ideas on make an model forum.
When this species first arrived in the UK some 20+ years ago nearly all the examples I came across were 'dark'. However, in my experience I now see very dark examples like this one far less frequently. That said my observations are mostly Berkshire based, perhaps the picture is different regionally. I tend not to look too closely at worker Vespula's these days but base my observations of the continued presence of each species in my neighbourhood on the queens that I see earlier in the year - this species is easily identified as a queen.