Yellow JacketHave you ever been called a social butterfly? How about a social bee? The honey bee is one of the most social insects with colonies of 20 – 90 thousand. Could you imagine having that many roommates?

The honey bee is just one type of bee, and not all of them are social. The carpenter bee is not social at all and once the male and female mate the female goes off on her own and builds her own home. Miss independent will bore several holes into a piece of wood until she has 5-6 chambers or rooms. Within these rooms she will lay her egg onto a mound of pollen and regurgitated nectar to feed the young once they hatch. The carpenter bee is not an aggressive bee by any means. Only the male will become ornery with humans when he feels threatened. It’s all buzz and no sting with these guys because they don’t have a stinger.

Like honey bees, the bumble bee will produce honey for feeding purposes. The bumble bee doesn’t produce near the amount that the honey bee does, however the process is the same. The bee will gather nectar and pollen from flowers and transport it back to the hive. The pollen is carried in a structure on each leg called a pollen basket. Nectar is transported in the digestive system within a structure called a honey sac. Once the nectar is back at the hive, they will let it dry out, and through a complex process involving enzymes in their saliva, it will turn to honey. A by-product of the honey is the fact that they pollinate plants along the nectar transportation route. Some of your favorite foods depend on bees to pollinate the plants in order to produce the fruit or seed.  Needless to say, the honey bee is very beneficial to the environment and our food supply.

Bees aren’t the only pollinators in the insect world. Wasps and hornets are also pollinators, but they are looked at in a different light because of the aggressive behavior they sometimes display. In fact some species of wasp look very similar to the bee and may be mistaken to the untrained eye. The paper wasp resembles the honey bee, but is very different. They don’t produce honey and they make nests out of wood fiber and plant stems. The nest may contain up to 200 individual cells, each holding an egg. The paper wasp feeds on caterpillars, flies and beetle larvae, and is very active during the day but the whole nest sleeps at night.

The yellow jacket is another flying insect that resembles the bee, and the paper wasp, but is much more aggressive than both. The yellow jacket is another social insect and only attacks when they feel threatened or a disturbance with the nest. Colonies can contain up to 4,000 workers with nests up to 6 feet across. The yellow jacket does have a venomous sting and they are abundant in urban areas, so extreme caution must be taken if you have an encounter.

With so many flying insects having similar attributes it’s a good idea to call a pest control professional if you think you might have a nest or hive on your property. Green Bug now offers Bee relocation and extermination, so give us a call today to see which option best fits your needs.