Bees, Wasps & Hornets

Bees, wasps, and hornets generally do not sting unless handled, disturbed, threatened, or harmed. Among 75,000 species of wasps and 20,000 species of bees worldwide, a few species are considered to be potentially hazardous insects, due to their stings. Wasps are nuisance pests in recreational areas, especially around picnic and garbage spots. Queen wasps are occasionally encountered in Christmas tree shipments. Despite of beekeepers’ efforts, wasps impact honey production by reducing nectar and honeydew supplies for honey bees. Moreover, wasps attack honey bee hives in the spring to take away foraging worker bees. Later in the year, wasps also steal honey and carry off bee larvae and pupae. The focus of this website is on nuisance wasps and bees that nest in or around a structure. To make things easier, we categorized nuisance wasps and bees as either solitary or social insects. Adult solitary wasps and bees are all fertile and do not live in a colony structure. Whereas, social wasps and bees live in colonies and are distinguished with fertile queen, male and worker casts, though, the majority of the colony is made up of sterile female workers. In order to protect ourselves from wasp and bee stings, we need to be familiar with their biology, habits, and management.