Insects known as wasps include the sawflies, the parasitic wasps, and the stinging wasps, which are the best known. About 75, species of wasps are known, most of them parasitic.
Both are beneficial insects that because of their stinging behavior can pose a Paper wasps threat to humans. NJ Stinging Insect Identification and Behavior Sharing biological ancestry with ants, bees and wasps have six legs, chewing mouthparts, and two pairs of transparent or translucent wings with the hind wing slightly smaller than the forewing.
Both bees and wasps undergo complete metamorphosis from egg to larva to pupa to adult. Some species live in huge communal colonies ordered by a strict caste system like ants; other species live solitary lives or in unstructured small groups.
With the sole exception of the Honey Bee, bee and social wasp colonies die out at the beginning of winter. A lone fertilized queen will over-winter deep in the hive or burrow into the ground, emerging in spring to begin a new colony and build a new nest.
Old nests are not reused. Solitary wasps winter in ground burrows, also emerging in spring to mate and reproduce again. How to Tell the Difference Between Bees and Wasps Although they are often confused because of similar coloration, bees and wasps differ in several distinct ways.
Bees are covered with short, dense hairs and are thick waisted; whereas wasps are smooth with thin, constricted waists. Bees feed on Paper wasps nectar while wasps are primarily predators, feeding on other insects. Of particular importance is the difference in stinging behavior between bees and wasps.
Bees have a hooked stinger and die after they sting, leaving their stinger with the attached venom sac in their victim.
This makes a bee sting especially potent as venom continues to be released into the victim until the sac is empty. Wasps, which include Yellow Jackets and Hornets, have straight stingers and can sting their victim repeatedly.
Unlike bees which usually attack only when bothered or when their nest is threatened, wasps are extremely aggressive and may attack without provocation. As they sting, wasps release alarm pheromones to signal hive mates to join the attack.
Repeated stings by swarming wasps can be fatal, even to the non-allergic.
Bee and wasp stings send more than half a million Americans to the emergency room every year and result in 50 to deaths annually.
For most people, bee and wasp stings are painful and cause swelling and itching that can last for several days. But for the more than 2. Solitary insects, carpenter bees are wood destroyers, tunneling into soft outdoor wood to lay their eggs.
Living in mating pairs, only the usually docile female carpenter bees have stingers. Stingerless males, however, are highly aggressive and can be a considerable nuisance dive bombing anyone who comes too close to the nest. Because of their habit of returning to the same site year after year, carpenter bees can cause serious damage to wood structures.
Find out more about carpenter bees in our wood destroying insect section. Several species of bees build their nests in the ground, but the two of most concern to New Jersey residents and business owners are the usually docile bumble bee and the highly annoying sweat bee.
Hairy with distinctive black and yellow coloration, bumble bees have a round, robust appearance and buzz loudly when disturbed. Frequent garden visitors, bumble bees collect pollen and nectar to produce a stored food called "bee bread" that they feed to developing offspring.
Living in large social colonies underground, bumble bees can be a problem if they build their nests in garden or lawn areas frequented by people. Occasionally, these bees invade buildings to nest in soffits or attics. Bumble bees are docile unless provoked or their nest is threatened.
They are a problem only when nests are built in trafficked areas.
Halictid Sweat Bees are brightly colored. The halictid or "sweat" bee is the most problematic ground-dwelling bee for humans.
A persistent summer pest, halictid bees hover around humans, landing on skin to gather sweat droplets. They will sting if startled or swatted, although stings are considered minor. More of a nuisance than a threat, their persistent hovering can be upsetting at outdoor events.
Vital agricultural helpmates, these prolific pollinators collect nectar and pollen from flowering plants, using it to create honey to nourish their young and sustain themselves through the winter.
Honey bees live in massive colonies that may house hundreds of thousands of individuals. They build wax-comb hives in tree hollows but may also colonize attics, chimneys, under siding or inside wall voids.
Unlike other bees and wasps, honey bee colonies do not die out over the winter. Honey bees over-winter in their hives subsisting on stored honey. When honey bees nest in inhabited spaces, they not only present a serious stinging risk to humans but dripping honey can permanently stain ceilings and walls and attract problem pests like ants, cockroaches and flies.When wasps find themselves in times of trouble, they get by with a little help from their friends.
The European paper wasp Polistes dominula is a late-season pest of srmvision.com courtesy of Duane Holder. Some insects, like honeybees and fruit flies, slumber just like us—and can get sloppy without their Zzzs, research shows.
What do paper wasps look like? Paper wasps have a pinched waist and long thin legs that hang down below their body as they fly. Paper wasp wings are a grayish color; their bodies are black or brown in color and they typically have yellow and/or orangish markings. Learn about Paper Wasps and what you can do to prevent them from bothering your family, your employees and your customers in Pittsburgh and throughout PA.
How To Control Paper Wasps. There are some insects which can be beneficial to the environment by removing pesky bugs which may invade our yard and home, like the paper wasp.