an inventory of social wasps in cerrado biome of the southern of the state of minas gerais was performed. a comparison between field and riparian forest areas was made in relation to species richness; correlations between diversity, sample methods and environmental factors were conducted. a total of 32 species was registered and polybia fastidiosuscula de saussure, 1854 was the most abundant species. the higher richness was in the cerrado field, as well as the highest diversity index. the temperature and rainfall had significant correlation with species richness and a significant variation in richness between dry and wet seasons was observed. polybia fastidiosuscula was more abundant in the riparian forest during the dry season and in the cerrado field during wet season. the study area showed a great diversity of social wasps, with record both widely distributed species such as rare species, which indicates the quality and potential area for future studies.