Bee Problems?

“Having problems with bees?”

This is a hornets nest!

Sometimes when you think you’re being bothered by a Honey bee it’s not a Honey bee at all but a yellow jacket! Many people really can’t distinguish the difference between a honey bee, yellow jacket, bumble bee, carpenter bee, wasp or hornet.

I receive many calls asking me to remove a honey bee nest when actually it is a yellow jacket nest or a bald-faced hornets nest. (See photo at right)

I think the biggest problem is not the insects but the people who see them. The old saying “Out of sight…out of mind” is so true. I also believe “If you look for trouble you’ll find it”

All insects are beneficial, they all serve a purpose on this earth but generally speaking people just don’t like having them around. I agree when a stinging insect nest is near the entrance to your house or in your wall it must be removed but if it is at a distance and not bothering you why not leave it alone.

Q: What does a swarm of honey bees look like?

A: A swarm of honey bees is a large mass of honey bees all clinging to each other and usually hanging on a tree branch, bush, fence post or just about any object. Here are some photos of swarms.

Q: What’s the difference between a Honey Bee and a Yellow Jacket?

A: Generally speaking the coloration, shape, size & the honey bees’ body is hairy. A yellow jacket is in the wasp family, their main diet is meat, (other insects), whereas a Honey Bee’s diet consists of nectar and pollen from flowers.

Notice the coloration of the Honey Bee (above right). It is usually golden brown to tan in color with stripes or bans crossing it’s abdomen which can vary from dark brown to gray-black. Also notice it’s body is covered with very small hairs. These hairs help it to pick up pollen from flowers.

The yellow jacket (above left) is a wasp. It’s body is slender, smooth & hairless with bright markings of yellow and black. They can vary in size from small; about the same length as honey bee but very slender, to larger; the size of a paper wasp. Usually the smaller ones will be found nesting in ground cavities whereas the larger ones may be found with nests similar to paper wasps, hanging under eves of buildings.

Q: I think I have a swarm of Honey bees. Who can help me?

A: Go to this page: SWARMS This is the swarm page of the Lehigh Valley Beekeepers Associations website. Here you will see helpful information of what to do if you encounter a swarm and who to call.