Honey Bee

The end of summer quickly approaches, and it comes with a whole range of angry, aggressive, stinging insects. When contending with a stinging insect, knowing the difference between a bee, wasp or hornet can keep you from ending up on the business end of a stinger. We have some tips on identifying which pest is which for homeowners in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut.

The Bee’s Knees

Honeybees provide critical pollination for flowers and produce honey that we enjoy. Additionally, they are quite passive—only becoming aggressive if their nest is impeded upon. They tend to make their nests in a variety of places such as trees, overhangs, and garages. Honeybees make honeycomb nests that resemble a hexagonal pattern when opened.

Honeybees are usually about a half-inch long, with hair-covered bodies. Their hair appears in large bands of yellow, orange, and brown. They have six legs and a smooth stinger. Also, they are only capable of stinging you once as their stinger pulls loose from their body once inserted…ouch!

Wasp is a No-no

Wasps build their nests in branches of trees and bushes and can even make their nests in porch rooves, attics, and eaves. Their nests commonly appear to have a paper-like texture.

Wasps are capable of stinging multiple times…ouch…ouch…ouch, making them even more of a danger. Wasps are usually brown but can have some brown, yellow and red coloration. They have a thin waist and large abdomen.

Hornet? More like Hor-not!

Hornets are similar to their smaller brethren but have a few key differentiators that will help you tell the difference. Their nest appears similar but is enclosed with a single-entry point. This is different from a paper wasp’s nest which is normally more exposed.

A hornet is visually distinct from other wasps because of their shiny bodies. They are traditionally black and white, with very little hair.

Avoidance is the Best Medicine

Regardless of bee, wasp or hornet, keeping a healthy distance from a nest or infestation is key to staying safe. Bees are more passive than hornets or wasps, but still should be avoided if possible. The best bet to keeping yourself sting-free is to have the nest or infestation removed by a professional. We have previously given tips on nest removal, but bees, hornets, and wasps are sometimes difficult to distinguish so safety measures are best.

Let the team at Graduate Pest Solutions determine whether you’re contending with a bee, wasp, or hornet. Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and the services necessary to help keep your home pest-free!

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