Bumble Bees

Honey Bees

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Carpenter Bees

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Bald-Faced Hornet

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European Hornet

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Yellow Jacket

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Wasps & Bees

Beehive

The first step in wasp or bee control is to correctly identify the insect and locate its nesting site. An experienced pest control service may provide wasp or bee control service or you can use the following information to attempt to control them yourself.


Stinging & Biting-General

Bees, hornets, and wasps are, for the most part, a very beneficial group of insects, being the major pollinators of flowering plants, helping to reduce the numbers of many insect pest species, etc. However, of the 54 reported deaths each year from arthropod bites or stings, bees, hornets, and wasps account for 30 percent.


Information from the National Pest Management Association

Bumble Bees

Bumble Bees

Description

Bumble bees are beneficial insects because they pollinate crops and plants.


Pest Facts

Color: Black with yellow stripes

Legs: Six

Shape: Oval; bee shape

Size: 1 inch

Antennae: Yes

Flying: Yes

Region: Canada and the USA


Habits

The occupant of a disturbed bumble bee nest will buzz in a loud volume. They defend their nests aggressively.


Habitat

Bumble bees often nest in the ground, but can be found above ground around patio areas or decks. They will sometimes build their nest in soffits of attics.


Threats

As part of their aggressive defense of their nests, bumble bees will chase nest invaders for a considerable distance. The bumble bee sting is one of the most painful. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees can sting more than once.


Prevention

Bumble bees can be prevented through inspection of potential nesting areas and removal of potential harborage materials. Because bumble bees will sting when threatened, homeowners are advised not to address the infestation themselves.


Information from the National Pest Management Association

Honey Bees

Honey Bees

Description

Honey bees are social insects found all over the world. They are an extremely important, beneficial insect because of their role in pollination. Honey bees pollinate more than 100 crops in the U.S.


Pest Facts:

Color: Predominantly golden-yellow with brown bands

Legs: Six

Shape: Oval; bee shape

Size: 1/2 inches

Antennae: Yes

Flying: Yes

Region: Canada and the USA


Habits

Honeybees are active pollinators, and produce honey which feeds their young in colder months. The honeybee is the only social insect whose colony can survive many years.


Habitat

Honeybees produce honey from pollen and nectar of the plants they pollinate. They store the honey in honeycombs in their nests. They often build their nests in tree crevices, but will occasionally build nests in attics or chimneys.


Threats

Honeybees do sting, but they only sting once. The sting can be extremely painful if the stinger is not immediately removed from the sting. Persons allergic to insect stings will have a more severe reaction.


Prevention

Honeybees should be addressed by a professional. Removal of a honeybee nest and the honey product can be very messy. Because honeybee colonies are so large, only a pest control professional or experienced beekeeper can safely remove a honeybee nest.


Information from the National Pest Management Association

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees

Description

Carpenter bees look like typical bumblebees but often lack yellow stripes. They are solitary bees.


Pest Facts:

Color: Blue-black, green or purple metallic sheen on abdomen

Legs: Six

Shape: Oval; bee shape

Size: 1 inch

Antennae: Yes

Flying: Yes

Region: Canada and the USA


Habits

Unlike bumble bees, carpenter bees are solitary insects. Female carpenter bees will chew a tunnel into a piece of wood to build a nest gallery. The bits of wood she chews and deposits outside the nest are called frass. The male carpenter bee guards the outside of the nest. He does not have a stinger, but his constant buzzing causes concern for some.


Habitat

Carpenter bees bore through soft woods to lay eggs and protect their larvae as they develop.


Threats

Carpenter bees do not pose a public health threat, but they can damage wood through their nest building.


Prevention

Carpenter bees prefer bare wood, so painting and staining wood can sometimes deter them. However, they will sometimes attack stained or painted wood, so contact a pest control professional for assistance.


Information from the National Pest Management Association

Bald-Faced Hornet

Bald Faced Hornet

Bald-faced hornets get their name from the large white patches on their faces. They can be found across North America. Its main predators are bears and raccoons.


Size: 3/4"

Shape: Wasp

Color: Black and white

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antennae: Yes

Common Name: Bald-Faced Hornet

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Vespidae

Species: Dolichovespula maculata


DIET

Bald-faced hornets eat nectar and fruit juices.


HABITAT

Bald-faced hornets house their colonies inside large nests that they build hanging from trees, bushes, vegetation and occasionally from buildings. A single mated queen starts a new nest each spring by laying eggs inside a small nest made from paper strips and loose bark. The workers then gradually expand the size of the nest until it is larger than a basketball by the end of the summer. The queen lives deep in the nest, so she is always protected.


IMPACT

Bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will attack anyone or anything that invades their space. They have smooth stingers, so they can sting over and over again. Their stings also carry venom that makes the stings hurt, itch or swell for about 24 hours. Humans are at the same risk of allergic reactions from a bald-faced hornet sting as with other hornet stings.


PREVENTION

  • Do not leave sweet drinks or meats out in the open.
  • Call a pest management professional if you find hornets around your house.


Article from Pest World

European Hornet

European Hornet

European hornets are much larger than other wasps. Unlike most other stinging insects, European hornets will fly at night.


Queens are the only females to reproduce. Most other hornets are female workers who build the hive, gather food, feed the young, and protect the colony. There are few males (also called drones) in the hive. Since their job is to mate with the queen, males typically die soon after mating.

Size: 1 1/2"

Shape: Wasp

Color: Black with yellow markings

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antennae: Yes

Common Name: European Hornet

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Vespidae

Species: Vespa crabro


DIET

Their diet consists mainly of large insects such grasshoppers, flies, bees, and yellow jackets. They also eat tree sap, fruit and honeydew. And, unlike other species of hornet, the European hornet will hunt in groups.


HABITAT

Nests are typically built in hollow trees, but they are often found in barns, sheds, attics, and hollow areas of house walls. Unlike its cousins - the yellow jacket and the bald-faced hornets - European hornets rarely build nests that are free hanging or in unprotected areas, such as tree limbs. They use decaying wood fiber to build a shell around their nest as protection. As winter approaches, the worker bees die off and the queen will leave the existing nest and find an empty log or other sheltered spot to spend the winter.


IMPACT

European hornets can do a great deal of damage to trees and shrubs because they strip the bark to get to the sap. They also use the bark fiber to build their nests. They have smooth stingers, so they can sting over and over again. Their stings also carry venom that makes the stings hurt, itch or swell for about 24 hours. A European hornet sting has the same risk of allergic reactions from as with other wasp stings.


PREVENTION

  • Do not leave sweet drinks or meats out in the open.
  • Call a pest management professional if you find hornets around your house.


Article from Pest World

Yellow Jacket

Yellow Jacket

Size: 3/8" to 5/8"

Shape: Wasp

Color: Black with yellow stripes

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antennae: Yes

Common Name: Yellow Jacket

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Vespidae

Species: Vespula vulgaris


DIET

Yellow jackets eat spiders and insects. They will also feed on human food, especially meats and sweets. Unlike bees, wasps do not make honey or store food.


HABITAT

Yellow jackets like to be where humans live. They usually build their nests underground, around garbage and in cool, dark spaces. They also build nests in trees, shrubs and in holes in walls. Most yellow jacket colonies only remain active for one year. Thereafter, the queen flies off to start a new colony. The remaining bees die in the fall and the nest is abandoned. Look for yellow jacket nests during the day because you can see them flying in and out. Destroy nests at night, when they are dormant and all there.


IMPACT

Wasps help farmers by eating pests that can destroy crops. They are dangerous because they can sting multiple times, injecting venom into the host. For most people a yellow jacket sting just causes a welt and temporary pain, but their sting can cause allergic reactions to people sensitive to this venom.


PREVENTION

  • Do not leave sweet drinks or meats out in the open.
  • Call a pest management professional if you find yellow jackets around your house.


Article from Pest World

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