Locally common all over the British Isles. It occurs in almost all of Europe and Palaearctic Asia.
Status (in Britain only)
Common. The species is not regarded as scarce or threatened.
Prefers sunny, warm, damp habitats such as meadows and river banks but found in most open urban and agricultural areas, woodland edges, parks and gardens. Rarely found in hot, dry, sparsely vegatated areas.
Nuptial flights usually occur during August and September.
They feed on honeydew from aphids and scale insects and drink nectar from flowers. They are aggressive and sting freely.
Nests are in the ground, in tufts of grass, under stones and in rotten wood. Colonies are usually polygynous with an average of 15 queens and a thousand workers or more…. BWARS