Bees, hornets, and wasps are, for the most part, a very beneficial group of insects. Being the major pollinators of flowering plants, many varieties help to reduce the numbers of other pest species.
However, of the 54 reported deaths each year from arthropod bites or stings, bees, hornets, and wasps account for 30 percent. Below is a little more information about particularly prevalent varieties of bee, hornet, and wasp.
The occupants of a disturbed bumble bee nest will buzz in a loud volume. They defend their nests aggressively, though if you meet one on its own it’s not a particular threat.
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.
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 are capable of stinging more than once.
Bumble bees can be prevented through inspection of viable nesting areas and removal of potential harborage materials. Because bumble bees sting when threatened, homeowners are advised not to address infestations themselves.
Carpenter bees look like typical bumble bees but often lack yellow stripes. Their abdomens are hairless, shiny, and black. They typically measure about an inch in length.
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. Males are noted for aggressive behavior and a white spot on their face. They are harmless, however, and do not possess stingers; females have stingers but are generally docile.
Carpenter bees bore through softwoods to lay eggs and protect their larvae as they develop. They like to nest in nail holes, exposed saw cuts and unpainted wood.
Carpenter bees do not pose a public health threat, but they can damage wood through their nest building.
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. They are commonly found in porch and shed ceilings, railings, overhead trim, wooden porch furniture, dead tree limbs, fence posts, wooden shingles, wooden siding, window sills and wooden doors; prefer wood that is at least two inches thick. These are areas you’ll want to keep an especially close eye on.
Honey bees are social insects found all over the world. They are an extremely important and beneficial insect because of their role in pollination. Honey bees pollinate more than 100 different crops in the United States.
Honey bees are active pollinators, and produce honey which feeds their young in colder months. The honey bee is the only social insect whose colony can survive many years.
Honeybees produce honey from pollen and nectar of the plants they pollinate. They store the honey in honeycombs in their nests. They often build nests in tree crevices, but will occasionally build them in attics or chimneys.
Honeybees do sting, but they only sting once, and only under extreme duress. The sting can be extremely painful if the stinger is not immediately removed from the skin. Persons allergic to insect stings will have a more severe reaction.
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. Also, because honey bees are valuable pollinators, rehoming them in a humane way instead of destructive eradication will be best for all parties.
If your property is home to bees, wasps, or other stinging insects, don’t hesitate to call My Pest Pros for a free estimate on our bee removal or wasp control services. Our expert bee control technicians know how to best handle these pests.