Well, the time has come: the peak season for flying insects to feast on flowers and backyard barbecues, putting a major damper on our favorite outdoor pleasures. During the warmer months, the likelihood of seeing a bee, wasp, or hornet is rather significant, as some of these insects are venomous.


Despite the fact that they may all sting, bees, wasps, and hornets are quite distinct. In a perfect world, you would never have to interact with one in your lifetime. You can apply as much bug repellent as you can stomach, but in fact, you will likely encounter one or all of these insects. Therefore, it may be important to know who you’re up against when you encounter one of these flying creatures by identifying them and having bee removal near me on standby.

Here is a guide on Bee, Wasp, & Hornet Identification based on their appearance, habitat, and stinging ability, so you know what you’re dealing with if you encounter one.Bee, Wasp, & Hornet Identification


You likely recognize a bee when you see one. When compared to a hornet or wasp, though, it might be more difficult to determine which insect you’re dealing with.

What are the most prevalent bee species in the United States?

Honey bees, carpenter bees, and bumble bees are the most frequent sorts of bees, according to board-certified entomologist and senior technical services manager at Orkin, Glen Ramsey. “Another sort of bee that may be spotted in open sections of yards in the spring are solitary, ground-nesting bees,” explains Ramsey.

What do bees look like?

Bumble bees and carpenter bees are sturdy, rounded insects that are often black and yellow in appearance. Honey bees are banded orange-yellow, brown, and black, and have a hairy look.


Honey bees are likely the most frequent sort of bee you will see, according to Roberto M. Pereira, Ph.D., an entomologist and bug researcher at the University of Florida. “They appear hazy,” he says. They have a dense coating of hairs to assist them to catch pollen.


According to Ramsey, bees range in length from a quarter of an inch to one inch.

Where can bees be found?

It depends on the species of bee in question. “Honey bees like to establish hives in hollow trees, whereas bumble bees prefer abandoned rat burrows,” adds Troyano. “Both can be observed foraging for nectar on blooms,” she explains.


Carpenter bees often nest in “a broad range of wood,” including partially decaying trees and exposed structural lumber. Additionally, they favor unpainted wood surfaces.

Can bees do harm?

The majority of them can. “Bee stings often cause acute pain and a localized reaction of minor swelling, redness, and itching at the sting site,” adds Troyano. However, for those who are allergic to bee stings, even a single sting might be fatal.


When a bee attacks you, its stinger detaches and continues to inject poison until you remove it, which is unpleasant, according to Pereira. Before the discomfort subsides, a string will typically cause inflammation and itching.

Notable: honey bees normally die after stinging a human, and ground-nesting bees “are not aggressive,” thus the likelihood of being stung by one is low, according to Ramsey.


To clarify, wasps and hornets are distinct species. “A hornet is a species of wasp,” adds Troyano. “The primary distinction between hornets and wasps like paper wasps and yellow jackets is size, with hornets being more robust and bigger. Moreover, hornets are gregarious insects but, depending on the species, wasps can be either social or solitary.

What are the most prevalent wasp species in the United States?

Troyano states that paper wasps and yellow jackets are the most frequent species.

What do wasps look like?

The majority of wasps have a thin or pinched waist and are black with white, orange, or yellow markings. (However, yellow jackets often have yellow and black patterns.) Unlike bees, they have little hair.


Wasps typically range in length from half an inch to an inch, however, yellow jackets are often shorter than paper wasps.

Where may wasps be found?

Ramsey explains that wasps like to nest in eaves, gutters, voids, shrubs, trees, and along fences. Troyano adds that paper wasp nests resemble inverted umbrellas, but yellow jackets often construct their nests in the ground.


Wasps are predators, thus they enjoy eating flesh. “Yellow jackets will surely feed on discarded foods, such as hot dogs. When eating outside, yellow jackets are frequently in close proximity to people’s meals, causing people to swat at them and likely be stung.


That means they are also attracted to crumbs and beverage spillage, according to Ramsey. But wasps enjoy plants and flowers as well.

Can wasps do harm?

Yes, and wasps do not lose their stinger when they strike, thus they may often sting many times. “Paper wasps will quickly attack when threatened and can sting many times.

People are typically stung when they come too close to a nest or accidentally encounter a wasp. If a wasp is near or on you and you worry and try to swat it away, it will see this as a hostile move. However, if you brush away a wasp with your hand and move away, it should leave you alone. Similar to bee stings, if you are sensitive to wasp venom, a wasp sting can cause a severe allergic reaction.


Hornets, including the terrifying Asian giant hornet, are often the biggest of these stinging insects. Here are the pertinent details about them.

What are the most prevalent species of hornets in the United States?

Ramsey states that the European hornet, sometimes known as the brown hornet or gigantic hornet, is the most common hornet in the United States. Nevertheless, he claims that the bald-faced hornet is also rather frequent. Fun fact about hornets: the bald-faced hornet is not a “genuine” hornet. Instead, it is referred to as a hornet “because of its bigger size in comparison to other wasps.

What do hornets look like?

Troyano states that European hornets are huge, reddish-brown insects with yellow stripes on their abdomens. She explains that bald-faced hornets are predominantly black with a white pattern on their face, giving them a “bald” appearance.

Where may hornets be found?

Depending on the kind of hornet. According to research, European hornets like to nest in cavities such as hollow trees and barns. Bald-faced hornets like to nest in more exposed spots, such as tree branches, bushes, utility poles, and eaves.

Are hornets dangerous?

Yes—very. Troyano states, “Hornets will quickly sting when they feel threatened.” Additionally, they can sting repeatedly.


This can cause severe pain and harm, and if you’re allergic, even life-threatening difficulties. “When a person is stung several times or has a severe allergy to the insect’s venom, systemic responses that impact the entire body are possible,” adds Ramsey. The majority of individuals will suffer “severe pain,” redness, and swelling at the stung location. In conclusion, if you observe a stinging flying insect, such as a bee, wasp, or hornet, you should probably avoid the area. You can attempt to determine what it was afterward.

Hornet nest vs wasp nest

As their nests are where they congregate, distinguishing between a hornet nest and a wasp nest can be as helpful as distinguishing between the insects themselves. It might be especially crucial if you discover one of these nests near your residence.

Hornet nest

According to Orkin, European hornets often make their nests in walls or tree holes, and their nests are frequently discovered in attics and sheds because they conceal them in “dark, hollow areas.” Typically, bald-faced hornets construct egg-shaped, up to two-foot-long nests in trees, huge bushes, or on the roofs and overhangs of buildings.

Wasp hivesBee, Wasp, & Hornet Identification

These nests differ in location and appearance. Orkin notes that some wasps make their nests above ground, while others do it below. Nests can often be located in bushes, tree and wall cavities, attics, and other concealed sites. Wasps flying in and out of these cracks may be used to identify these nests, which are often constructed of paper-like material or mud. There are underground nests beneath rocks, fallen logs, patios, roads, and sidewalks.


If you’ve encountered a sting pest nest outside your home or on your property contact a Spokane pest pro at (509)681-3949 immediately! In addition, refer to our website for Wasp Nest VS Bee Nest: Is One More Dangerous Than The Other!

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