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bee and wasp identification

Carpenter Bee


Wasps are predators and parasitic of other insects.

BEE AND WASP service program

Bees are vital to pollination.

Mud Dauber Wasp Nest

Bumblebee - Bumblebees are found living in nests in number of 15 to 100 bees. They do not have permanent colonies. The queen starts a new colony each spring. They are twice the size of a honey bee, between 1 to 1 ½ inches long. Bumblebees may be found in cavities in the ground such as an abandoned gopher hole, under sheds, or in other low to the ground places. Bumblebees are seasonal summer bees. When defending their hive they can be aggressive, stinging multiple times without losing their stinger. They are sought after by tomato farmers who know the value of their pollination effectiveness.

Carpenter Bee - Nearly all carpenter bees build their nests in burrows in dead wood, bamboo, or structural timbers. Approximately 1 inch in length, Carpenter bees are one of the largest American native bees. They resemble bumble bees but have a shiny abdomen, where bumblebees have hairy abdomens. Female carpenter bees are capable of stinging, but they are docile and rarely sting unless directly provoked. The males are harmless, since they do not have a stinger. Carpenter bees are pollinators of eggplant, tomato and other vegetables.

When Bees or Wasps become a nuisance our Bee and Wasp Control Service will resolve the problem.

Mud Dauber Wasp
Paper Wasp
Bald-Faced Wasp Nest
Yellow Jacket Wasp


Mud Dauber Wasp - Mud daubers vary in size from medium to large, usually around an inch long. They are sometimes called thread-waisted wasps. The most familiar aspect of mud daubers is their nest which is made of mud or clay and attached against houses, under eaves or bridges, and often inside garages. Cylindrical cells of mud are built side by side until they make a mass that may be the size of a softball. The mud nest is smoothly plastered over the entire outer surface. Mud daubers rarely sting and do not defend their nests.

Bald-Faced Hornet - Bald-faced hornets are actually wasps, and are about 3/4th inch in size. They are black with white stripes around their thorax and abdomen. They can fly very fast and are extremely aggressive. Bald-faced hornets create a nest which is gray and round. It ranges from softball to beach ball size. These nests are made from cellulose and are quite strong. Likely nest locations include trees, shrubs and around overhangs of buildings. They will defend the location of their nest.

Appearance - Although many wasps exist in North America, the two species most common are paper wasps and bald-faced hornets. Wasps are more aggressive than bees. Wasps have thinner sleeker and longer bodies than bees. They have four wings and are smooth and shiny not hairy. Wasps inject their venom with a stinger that goes in and then comes out so they can sting again. The easiest way to distinguish among the species is by their nests.

Paper Wasp -
Paper wasps get their name from the paper-like material from which their nests are made. These nests are begun in the spring by fertile over-wintering females. Nests are comprised of many cells, each cell wall is made of wood pulp similar to that from which paper is made. Paper wasps are yellow and black, and are about ¾ inch to one inch in size. Their sting can be quite painful-and they will aggressively protect their nests.

Yellow Jacket Wasp -
Yellow jackets are social colonizers with a queen/worker structure. Yellow jacket queens are more than an inch long, the workers are a little shorter about 3/4th inch, and all have a typical pattern of black and yellow markings. Yellow jackets usually construct a subterranean nest, but occasionally build them in wall voids, attics and above ground sites.

Bald-Faced Wasp
Yellow Jacket Wasp Nest
Paper Wasp Nest