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Forest Yellowjacket (Vespula acadica)

With fewer than 500 workers, forest yellowjackets have smaller colonies than that of other species.

Geographic Region

Forest yellowjackets are found throughout forests in Canada, from Alaska south to the Sierras f California, and in the Rockies south to Arizona and New Mexico. It’s also found in the upper Midwest and New England states.

Natural Habitat

Forest yellowjackets typically build aerial nests, but subterranean nests in logs are not uncommon.

Weather Conditions

Like most yellowjacket species, forest yellowjackets get established and thrive in hot, dry weather.


Because this species is primarily found in more heavily forested areas, the forest yellowjackets has limited contact with humans. If the nest is disturbed, forest yellowjackets will sting aggressively and persistently. Adults feed on nectar and other sweet liquid.

Unique Characteristics

Forest yellowjackets are black with yellow markings.