Yellow jackets and bees are common in Florida but many people don’t know which insect they’re dealing with when they encounter them. It’s important to know the difference, because their nature is different, as well as their sting. Also, having a nest of yellowjackets in your yard can present a real danger.
Yellowjackets are a type of wasp that nests on the ground, so they are very similar, just a different species. Yellowjackets, wasps and bees are very similar in size but hornets, which is also a type of wasp, is much larger and much more aggressive. They are attracted to sugary drinks and will fly into an open soda can to get to it. In the summer it’s best to pour a drink into a cup or container where you can see what’s in it before you take a swallow.
One method of telling the difference in appearance is that yellow jackets are shiny and smooth with a bright yellow color, while bees are fuzzy with darker brown bands. Bees have a thicker, rounder body but yellowjackets are much thinner in the middle.
If you should realize that you’re dealing with honeybees instead of wasps, the good news is that honeybees aren’t aggressive like wasps are, unless you are invading their nest, step on them or swat at them. The best thing to do is just leave them alone.
Bumblebees, on the other hand, will chase you but the whole colony won’t come after you in a swarm. They’re easy to identify because they’re much larger than honeybees or yellowjackets, and have smaller colonies.
The best course of action if you think you may have a colony of wasps or bees is to give us a call. It’s not easy to get rid of them on your own and they can be very dangerous when they attack. For more information on this service see our bee and wasp removal page.
Thank you to PrettyHandyGirl for the info on yellowjackets.
via Tumblr Yellow Jackets, Wasps, and Bees