Bees

Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Like wasps there are both solitary bees and social bees. Species such as honey bees and bumble bees are most common in our area and are considered social bees. 

Social bees live in colonies and consist of the queen bee, infertile female worker bees and male drones. The queen lays eggs for the span of her life which averages two to three years. Male drones exist only to fertilize the queen and die soon after. Female worker bees perform a much of the work necessary for the survival of the hive. Female worker bees’ average life span is usually only six weeks.

All bees are hairy which is important for pollen collection. Many female bee species have bristles on their hind legs which form a basket. When the bee lands on a flower, pollen grains are collected into the basket and bristles. Although only females are able to transfer pollen, all bees are able to sip the nectar from flowers. This nectar is their primary source of energy. Bees possess an organ that converts nectar into honey, which is collected inside the hive.

Honey bees can produce large amounts of honey.  Honey bees are critical to the environment and our food supply therefore they are protected in many states.  If an infestation should occur in or near a dwelling, consumers should consider contacting a local beekeeper to relocate the nest. A beekeeper can assess the situation and determine if it is feasible to remove the nest.

Bumblebees are also beneficial insects because they also pollinate crops and plants. They are very social bees and live in large colonies.

Unlike honeybees, bumblebees can sting more than once because their stingers are smooth and do not get caught in the skin. Bumblebees can be aggressive and will chase nest invaders for long distances. The bumblebee sting is one of the most painful stings, swelling and irritation can last for days after you are stung.

Bumblebees often nest in the ground, but can also be found above ground around patio areas or decks. They occasionally will build their nests in attics or under roof beams. If disturbed, bumblebees will become aggressive and buzz in a loud volume and defend their nests.

If you find a bee nest in or around your home, Werner Pest & Odor Control offers treatment and removal of these nests (excluding honey bee nests) to eliminate them from your home.  Often times one simple treatment can eliminate the problem.

Werner Pest & Odor Control also offers a protection service that can prevent nests from becoming big and preventing future nests from being built.

Mud Dauber Wasps

In addition to the common social wasps there are many types of Solitary Wasps.  Solitary wasps do not form colonies. Unlike social wasps that use their stingers only for defense or stinging, solitary wasps rely on their venom to hunt.   The most common solitary wasps in our area are Mud Dauber Wasps.

Mud Daubers are often found during the summer months at muddy locations collecting mud for their nests.  Mud daubers often build their nests of mud in or around homes, sheds, and barns and under open structures. Mud Daubers are long and thin with a thread like waist, around ½ to 1 inch in length. They can be black and yellow striped or blackish blue in color and have a stinger located at the end of their abdomen.

Mud Daubers prey on other insects.  Mud Daubers build their nest out of mud, which can contain up to 25 eggs. Each cell of the mud nest contains an insect (usually spiders) plus one egg, and is sealed up with mud. After only a few days, the egg hatches. As a larva they will eat the insect put in the mud cell for food. They remain as a larva for about three weeks, and spin a cocoon in the cell. They usually remain in the cocoon over the winter and emerge in the spring from the cell as an adult wasp.

Other than their unsightly nests and size Mud Daubers are often not aggressive and stings are very uncommon.

If you are finding Mud Daubers in or around your home, Werner Pest & Odor Control offers services to prevent Mud Daubers from building their muddy nests on or with in your home.

Wasps

Wasps are disliked by many due to their ability to sting.  They scare our kids, make their nests in and around our homes, and pose a health threat to those who are allergic to their stings.  Wasps tend to become a problem in late summer and autumn when they disrupt many of our outdoor activities.  We begin finding their nests in many places often needing treatment to eliminate them.

Wasps and Bees have many similarities but are also very different.  While wasps and bees both live in social colonies ruled by queens and maintained by workers, they look and behave differently.

Yellowjackets, baldfaced hornets, and paper wasps are the most common types of wasps found in our area. Wasps have a slender body with a narrow waist, slender, cylindrical legs, and they appear smoothed-skinned and shiny.

Social wasp colonies are started from scratch each spring by a queen who was fertilized the previous year and survived the winter by hibernating in a warm place. When she emerges, she builds a small nest that over summer becomes a large colony of wasps.  In winter the colony is killed off and only the new fertilized queens survive by hibernating only to restart the process again the following spring.

Wasps make nests from a papery pulp comprised of chewed-up wood fibers mixed with saliva. Yellowjacket and baldfaced hornet nests consist of a series of rounded combs stacked in tiers and covered by an envelope consisting of several layers of pulp. Paper wasps construct only one comb without any protective envelope. Wasp nests are commonly built in trees, shrubs, under eaves, inside attics and wall voids, eaves of buildings, beams and supports in attics, garages, barns, and also below ground in old rodent burrows or other cavities.

Wasps prey on many insects, including caterpillars, flies, crickets, and other pests. During late summer and fall, wasps change their food gathering priorities and are more interested in collecting sweets and other carbohydrates. Some wasps may become aggressive scavengers around human food causing many of us to become fearful of them.

If you find a wasp nest in or around your home, Werner Pest & Odor Control offers treatment and removal of these nests to eliminate them from your home.  Often times one simple treatment can eliminate the problem.

Werner Pest & Odor Control also offers a protection service that can prevent nests from becoming big and preventing future nests from being built.