If, like approximately 20% of the population, you suffer from allergic reactions then you are probably less concerned about whether it’s a bee, wasp, or hornet visiting your home than you are worried about being stung.
But, being able to identify them will help you to understand their behaviour and know when you are more at risk. Of course, any hive can be exterminated or moved to protect you and your loved ones.
It is best to let the professionals handle this, you can find out more here.
Bees are generally wider than hornets or wasps, they both possess skinnier and longer bodies. While there are several species of bee, the most common are bumblebees and the humble honey bee. These are hairy while wasps and hornets are generally hairless.
They all have bright yellow bands, wasps tend to have black and yellow bands while hornets and bees tend to have dark brown bands. That should help you tell the difference.
In addition, there is a size difference.
The honey bee is very small, on average just half an inch long. Bumblebees are slightly longer but appear much bigger thanks to their girth. Wasps are generally between half and one inch long. But, hornets can be much bigger, they average between one and one-and-a-half inches long. But, the Asian hornet, also known as the murder hornet, can be two inches long.
If you think you have Asian hornets you need to call the exotic pest line as they are not yet found in Australia. You can check over here for more details about them and local pests.
One of the most important things to note is aggression levels. Wasps, hornets, and bees will all attack if they feel threatened. They will also release a pheromone that tells other members of their hive to attack.
However, bees lose their stingers when they sting, meaning they can only do it once. As the stinger also pulls part of their body out they will usually die after stinging. Wasps and hornets can sting multiple times.
For this reason, wasps, and especially hornets, are generally more aggressive. That means they are likely to sting if they perceive you as a threat simply because you are too close to their hive.
That’s why you need to proceed with caution if you discover a hive.
They Are Beneficial
Most people know that the honey bee is critical for the pollination process and, without it, crops wouldn’t reproduce. That’s why bees are often considered a protected species. However, what you may not realize is that bees, wasps, and even hornets are beneficial. They are very good at eating bad insects which are known to damage plants and crops.
In short, it’s nice to be able to tell the difference between these insects. You should certainly be careful around them. But, if their nest is not near enough to your home to cause an issue then it is better for you and the environment to leave them alone.
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