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PEST INFORMATION ABOUT BEES
There are a number of insects that people call bees. Some are bees, some are wasps, but many of them are pests, the subject of this page.
a) Are they about 3/4 inch long? If much bigger or smaller, they are not honey bees. Very large bees are usually carpenter bees. Very small bees may be any of a large number of species of mostly non-social bees.
b) Are they yellowjacket wasps? Yellowjackets are about the same size as honey bees, and nest in moderate-sized colonies. They are dark black and bright yellow, with clearly defined black and yellow bands. Honey bees are more brownish, and fuzzier, with less well defined bands.
Morphology of a female bee.
If the bees are living in a hollow tree you should do nothing except find a professional beekeeper or an exterminator to deal with the problem.
When bees nest within the house structure the problem becomes involved and costly. One may wait until the temperatures drop to near freezing or below and slowly expose the nest allowing the cold weather to kill the unprotected bees. Beekeepers can sometimes come in to attempt to trap the hive which removes the adult bees with the exception of the queen and a small number of workers. This technique, should not be attempted without experiences supervision. Trapping a hive takes approximately two months and it is not always successful. In most cases a professional exterminator is necessary for the removal of a colony.
Once the bees have been trapped or killed the nest itself should be removed. The honey and beeswax will attract other insect and animal pests, while the odor of fermenting honey can be quite strong. During warmer weather the combs often weaken and dripping honey may cause unsightly damage. Once the comb and honey have been scraped away, the area should be washed; insulation or a similar material packed into the former nest area and all potential entrances should be sealed.
DO NOT attempt to eradicate swarming bees, unless you have the complete range of protective equipment and professional knowledge essential in the circumstances.
PEST INFORMATION ABOUT WASPS
A wasp is any insect of the order of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor ant.
The most familiar wasps belong to Aculeata, a division of Apocrita, whose ovipositors are adapted into a venomous stinger, though a great many species do not sting. Aculeata also contains ants and bees, and many wasps are commonly mistaken for bees, and vice-versa. In a similar respect, insects called "velvet ants" (the family Mutillidae) are technically wasps.
||Mud dauber (sometimes "dirt dauber," "dirt dobber," or "dirt diver" in the southern U.S.) is a name commonly applied to a number of wasps from either the family Sphecidae or Crabronidae that build their nests from mud. Mud dauber may refer to:
* The organ pipe mud dauber, Trypoxylon politum (family Crabronidae)
* The black and yellow mud dauber, Sceliphron caementarium (family Sphecidae)
* The irridescent blue mud dauber, Chalybion californicum (family Sphecidae)
Mud daubers are long, slender wasps, the latter two species above with thread-like waists. The name of this wasp group comes from the nests that are made by the females, which consist of mud molded into place by the wasp's mandibles. There are three common species of mud daubers, each with distinctive coloring: the organ-pipe mud dauber (solid black coloring), the black and yellow mud dauber, and a stunning metallic-blue mud dauber with blue wings.
The organ-pipe mud dauber, as the name implies, builds nests in the shape of a cylindrical tube resembling an organ pipe or pan flute.
The black and yellow mud dauber's nest is composed of a series of cylindrical cells that are plastered over to form a smooth nest about the size of a lemon.
The metallic-blue mud dauber foregoes building a nest altogether and simply uses the abandoned nests of the other two species and preys primarily on black widow spiders.
Mud daubers are rarely aggressive.
Mud daubers pose a special risk to aircraft operation, as they are prone to nest in the small openings and tubes that compose aircraft pitot-static systems. Their presence in these systems can disable or impair the function of the airspeed indicator, the altimeter, and/or the vertical speed indicator. It is thought that mud dauber wasps were ultimately responsible for the crash of Birgenair Flight 301.
||Paper wasps are 3/4 inch to 1 inch (2-2.5 cm)-long wasps that gather fibers from dead wood and plant stems, which they mix with saliva, and use to construct water-resistant nests that appear to be made of gray or brown papery material. Paper wasps are also sometimes called umbrella wasps, due to the distinctive design of their nests or other regional variants such as Trinidad & Tobago's use of Jack Spaniard.
The name "paper wasps" typically refers to members of the vespid subfamily Polistinae, though it often colloquially includes members of the subfamilies Vespinae (hornets and yellowjackets) and Stenogastrinae, which also make nests out of paper. Twenty-two species of Polistes paper wasps have been identified in North America and approximately 300 species have been identified worldwide. The Old World tribe Ropalidiini contains another 300 species, and the Neotropical tribes Epiponini and Mischocyttarini each contain over 250 more, so the total number of true paper wasps worldwide is about 1100 species, nearly half of which can be found in the Neotropics.
The nests of most true paper wasps are characterized by having open combs with cells for brood rearing, and a petiole, or constricted stalk, that anchors the nest. Paper wasps secrete a chemical which repels ants, which they spread around the base of the anchor to prevent the loss of eggs or brood.
Most social wasps of the family Vespidae make nests from paper; although some stenogastrine species, such as Liostenogaster flavolineata, use mud. A small group of eusocial crabronid wasps, of the genus Microstigmus (the only eusocial wasps outside the family Vespidae), also construct nests out of chewed plant fibers, though the nest consistency is quite different from those of true paper wasps, due to the absence of wood fibers, and the use of silk to bind the fibers.
Unlike yellowjackets and hornets, which can be very defensive, polistine paper wasps will generally only attack if the nest is threatened.Since their territoriality can lead to attacks on people, and because their stings are quite painful and can produce a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction in some individuals, nests in human-inhabited areas may present an unacceptable hazard.
Most wasps are beneficial in their natural habitat, and are critically important in natural biocontrol.Paper wasps feed on nectar, and other insects, including caterpillars, flies, and beetle larvae, and they are often considered to be beneficial by gardeners.