Honeybee or Wasp?

Lots of people think that anything flying around and landing on flowers is either a bee or a butterfly. Not so, there are many types of bees and wasps. The pictures below show some of the most common wasps in our area. Many are mistaken for honeybees.

Let's start off with pictures of Honeybees.

Honeybees are usually honey colored with dark or black bands and very hairy. 

Below are pictures of Honeybee hives created naturally by the bees.

The pictures below show closeups of  Yellow Jackets.

Yellow Jackets are members of the Wasp family and have bright yellow bands. Yellow Jackets are those pesky intruders at late summer picnics. They have a particular affinity to open pop cans and fruit. Care must be taken if you have apple or pear trees and fruit decaying on the ground.

Below are pictures of Yellow Jacket nests. Yellow Jackets will nest both above and below ground in paper like nests.

The pictures below show closeups of Paper Wasps.

As the name implies, Paper Wasps build nests out of a paper like substance.

Below are pictures of Paper Wasp nests.

The pictures below show closeups of Bald-Faced Hornets.

Hornets build LARGE nests out of a paper like substance.

Please note: Honeybees and Wasps will guard their nests ferociously when they feel threatened.  Usually the ones you see near the entrance to their homes are just the guard bees or wasps. For every one you see, you should assume that there are 1000 more inside.  One alarm raised by a guard will bring forth a seemingly endless supply of ticked off bees or wasps with you as their intended target.  Bees and Wasps can fly faster than you can run.  Those who have provoked a bee, wasp, or hornet nest while unprepared for the result, have learned a valuable life lesson.  One they hope never to experience again!