BEES AND WASPS
Though both of these flying insects have 4 wings and can sting, there are many differences between bees and wasps. If you find a hive or nest of these insects in or near your home, do not hesitate to call pest control and have them safely removed.
- Hairy bodies
- Fat, round bodies
- Flat, wide legs
- Some are entirely black; others are black and brown with orange or yellow stripes
- Have four wings
- Do not hibernate in the winter, live off reserves and heat from worker bees
- Produce honey
- Can sting a human once before they die; can a very soft surface sting multiple times
- Live in wax hives
- Sip on nectar and drink water
- Smooth, shiny skin
- Waists are narrow
- Slender legs
- Bright black and yellow
- Have four wings
- Hibernate in the winter
- Cannot produce honey
- Can sting a human multiple times
- Can be social or solitary depending on species
- Live in papery nests
- Eat other insects like flies, attracted to human food like beer and soda
Bees are one of the most important and beneficial insects on our planet. Besides producing honey, honey bees pollinate more than half of all our fruit and vegetable crops. Wasps also play a crucial role in our ecosystem: They prey on many of the insects that damage our crops. While bees and wasps are vital to human survival, they can also be harmful. About 100 people per year die from wasp or bee stings and nearly 1 percent of the population is allergic to bee and wasp venom.
When Do Bees And Wasps Become An Issue?
There are many types of bees and wasps, some of which include Bumble Bees, Honey Bees, Carpenter Bees, hornets, paper wasps, and yellowjackets. In the Midwest, wasps, hornets and yellowjacket colonies usually abandon their nests shortly before winter and then seek shelter until spring. Yellowjackets, often mistaken for bees, are wasps that peak near the end of summer. Yellowjackets often convene in public areas where there is leftover human food and they are attracted to meats and sweet liquids. You can often find them circling around garbage cans and they are notorious for being aggressive and stinging repeatedly. Honeybee colonies can grow as large as 50,000 strong since these bees can survive winters even in northern states.
Where Do Bees And Wasps Build Nests?
Honey Bee nests built from beeswax can usually be found in the tree and rock cavities, while Bumble Bees can be found in wall voids, porches, and old rodent burrows. Paper wasps build the nests you are probably most familiar with. They look like umbrellas and usually hang upside-down from structures. Yellowjackets build papery nests that look like combs. Hornets build the paper nests that hang from trees and other structures and are basketball-shaped.
How To Prevent Wasp And Bee Nests
Preventing bees and wasps from building nests is nearly impossible. There are some paint finishes you can use on outdoor structures to discourage some species like Carpenter Bees, but generally there isn’t much you can do until the insects build their nests. Always use extreme caution when spraying a pesticide and when trying to remove nests while on a ladder.
Sometimes yellowjackets, wasps and hornets build nests in attics, vents, and crawl spaces. It can be dangerous to try to remove colonies from areas like these in your home and it may be best to call trained professionals for removal.