Will they visit?: Cuckoo Wasps frequently visit home gardens
Natural Distribution: Common and widespread throughout the South West and Perth region
Blue wasp, Toodyay, WA, (C)G Steytler
Cuckoo Wasp – (CC) geoffbyrne. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Australia License (Atlas of Living Australia)
Cuckoo Wasp – (C)Jason Pitman
Habitat at a Glance
See Habitat Guide for more detail
Shelter: Inside nests of other wasps and bees
Diet: Nectar and pollen
Water: Shallow bird baths
ReWild Benefit: Pollination
Habitat Guide - Shelter
Cuckoo Wasps lay their eggs inside the nests of other wasps and bees, relying on the ‘host’ to care for their young. There are several species of cuckoo wasps and each has their preferred host. Popular host species include mud-potter wasps, spider wasps, and blue-banded bees.
Some Cuckoo Wasps frequently visit bee hotels to find nests of potential hosts. It is important to have several bee hotels throughout the garden to lessen parasitic burden and minimise the risk towards other native bees.
Habitat Guide - Food and Water
Providing natural sources of food
Cuckoo Wasps feed from a wide diversity of native flowering plants. Banksia, grevillea, hakea, hibbertia, and flowering annuals are popular. Plant a diverse garden to provide a large range of foraging habitat.
Avoid commercial non-native seeds advertised for bee gardens. These plants may not be suitable for native bees and have the potential to become serious weeds.
Providing sources of water
Cuckoo Wasps will visit bird baths and ponds for a drink and in search of potential host species. Wasps run the risk of drowning if they fall into a bird bath or pond. Placing partially submerged rocks or sticks will provide an avenue for a bee to safely leave the water.
Cuckoo Wasps are not aggressive, but some species will sting if handled. Native wasps are critical in sustaining local biodiversity as they can pollinate a greater variety of native plants compared to honeybees. If you see this busy bee in your backyard, you can record your sighting on the Atlas of Living Australia.