Can Wasps Remember Human Faces: The Buzz On Wasps

There was a nest of wasps on my way to the gym, and one or two wasps always followed me. I never even tried to startle them.

It made me think Do these Wasps Know me? Because they didn’t follow every person. I began to think that these wasps don’t like me and they remember my face, hence they follow me to sting.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? If yes then you must have lots of questions like Can wasps remember a human face? How do the wasps remember human faces? Can wasps think? Can you make wasps your friend?

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Get answers to all the questions by simply reading this article.

Can Wasps Remember Human Faces?

Yes, according to a study, Polistes fuscatus paper wasps can recognize and remember each other’s faces with sharp accuracy. This enables them to maintain a complex social hierarchy. The wasps’ brains appear to process facial features holistically, similar to human facial recognition.

do wasps remember human faces

What is the Intelligence of a Wasp?

Studies have shown that wasps possess a level of intelligence that is surprising to many people. Wasps have a similar level of intelligence to logical reasoning in humans.

They are capable of using a form of logical reasoning to infer unknown relationships from known information, which is a trait that was previously thought to be unique to humans.

They also possess swarm intelligence, which means that they can communicate with each other and work together in a coordinated way to achieve a common goal.

This level of intelligence enables wasps to build complex nests and solve problems that arise within their communities.

Overall, wasps possess a high level of intelligence that allows them to thrive in their environments and adapt to changing circumstances.

How Do Wasps Remember Human Faces?

According to an experiment, these wasps’ brains process human faces all at once, identical to how human facial recognition works. It’s the first time that insects have used “holistic” processing to identify one another.

Other wasps’ faces can also be learned by paper wasps. For wasp face processing, they appeared to have evolved unique brain systems. They are, on the whole, fairly intelligent insects.

They have fewer than one million brain cells compared to the human brain, which accounts for 86,000 million brain cells.

Why Do Wasps Remember Faces?

The responsibilities are apparent in communal organizations with a single queen, and each individual understands their place. However, paper wasps may have numerous queens in a single nest, and facial recognition aids these queens’ communication.

The queens are arranged in a hierarchy, with the dominant queen bearing the majority of the children. Subordinate queens have the option of staying and laying a few eggs or fleeing to start their own nests. Smaller nests, on the other hand, are more prone to be attacked, stolen, or die out.

Recognition is quite useful in these societies with numerous queens interacting with one another.

Queens compete for power by fighting one another. The queens can keep track of who they’ve already defeated or been defeated by recognizing each other’s faces, which reduces violence in the nest.

can wasps remember human faces

Frequently Asked Questions

Do wasps have a good memory?

Yes, wasps have been shown to have a good memory by research studies. For example, Polistes fuscatus paper wasps can recognize and remember each other’s faces with sharp accuracy, as discussed earlier.

In addition, a study published in Current Biology found that paper wasps can remember their rivals even a week after they first met, demonstrating their long-term memory capabilities.

How long do wasps remember you?

The length of time that a wasp can remember you may vary depending on various factors such as the species of wasp and the interaction you had with it.

However, research studies have shown that some species of wasps can remember individuals for at least a week, even after meeting and interacting with many other wasps in the meantime.

Do wasps hold grudges?

There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that wasps hold grudges in the same way that humans do.

While wasps are capable of recognizing individuals and remembering specific interactions, experts believe that their aggressive behavior is more likely driven by self-defense and territorial instincts rather than holding a grudge. 

Why do wasps fly in your face?

Wasps may fly in your face for a number of reasons. One reason could be that they are attracted to bright colors or floral patterns on your clothing, which they may mistake for flowers or potential food sources.

Additionally, wasps are attracted to the scent of sweat and body odor, which they perceive as a potential source of food.

They may also fly in your face if you inadvertently disturb their nest or territory, causing them to feel threatened and prompting them to defend themselves.


Since now you know wasps are intelligent little creatures so don’t try to startle them. Otherwise, a wasp will remember you and sting you badly.

Wasps are very useful as they regulate the population of caterpillars which damages the crop. So make them friends by planting nectar for them and they’ll benefit you.

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Daniel White
I'm Daniel White, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm and humid climate of Florida gives an ideal habitat for many different kinds of pests. So, if I had to live in Florida, I had to learn how to deal with these pests. Now, I have 7 years of experience in Pest Control.

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