A smallish insect hive has been forming on the grill of my balcony in the last month or two, and I wanted to know should I be worried or can I just let it be. Its 13th floor in Singapore, if the height helps in ID. So far they have not been very aggressive, and have not bothered us even if we get within few feet of it, but want to know if that can change in horror movie style..

You can find the pictures below, both are pretty much the same, but with some flash tweaking. For a size estimate, they appear to be between half and 1 cm long, and the distance between the bars of the grill is about 12 cm or so. Are they some kind of bees? Would they leave eventually or is this a long term thing. Also, the length of the hive appears to be growing at ~ 1-2 cm per week.

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(crop of larger picture found below)

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  • $\begingroup$ p.s. the images are quite large, drag onto a new tab to see in full size $\endgroup$
    – Karthik T
    Apr 17, 2014 at 4:24
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest killing it with fire. Paper wasps in North America can be very aggressive and their stings hurt. $\endgroup$
    – user560
    Apr 17, 2014 at 14:24

1 Answer 1


These are certainly paper wasps (Vespidae) building their paper nest. Looks like a species of Ropalidia, which are known from Singapore.

I know little about Ropalidia, it seems to be rather small and probably harmless, but our larger European wasps can sting and bite and are sometimes quite aggressive (this refers first of all to Vespula germanica).


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