These appear to be very dark specimens of Vespa mandarinia, the Asian giant hornet of which more here. I’m not even sure these ones are alive – it would be hard to get them to sit like that naturally, and they all seem to have extended stings which is unusual in life, although quite often happens to insects after death.
Regular readers will know how the Ranger has an uneasy respect for waspkind. At this time of the year it’s easy to forget our yellowjacketed friends, but don’t be fooled: they are sleeping, awaiting the summer.
The Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia
I was entertained to find, whilst reading Imgur’s ‘Best pictures of 2010’ one wasp-related graphic which I decided not to use earlier this year as, well, it’s a bit profane. In fact, very profane. But I enjoyed it so much I thought that you could probably make the decision for yourself. So if you don’t like rude words, don’t click through. This is a wasp (NSFW)