Vespula vulgaris – Common Wasp
Despite its name – Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) – I have only seen a handful of these stinging beasties in my garden this year (2013).
I have to say I am grateful.
My mother told me she was stung seven times on her back when a wasp went down her dress while she was pregnant with me. It could be this, or the fact that I spent my childhood being stung often when picking up ripe yellow pears in our garden, (the wasps, like me, loved the pears when they were really ripe and juicy) but I can detect a common wasp without hearing or seeing it. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
This hapless individual was dead when I photographed it.