What is your first reaction when you hear a buzzing insect flying around your head on a warm summer’s day? Do you run the other way? Do you try to kill it? Or do you just ignore it hoping it won’t sting you? Whatever your reaction, it’s important to know what creatures are in your yard and what to do with them. First, you’ll want to identify the insect and second, you’ll need find out if their nest is in your yard (so you can avoid getting in their space and so you can stay sting free). It’s one thing to have an occasional bumble bee flying through your yard pollinating your flowers and a completely different thing having a hive of hornets above your front door.
First, we will take a look at the typically good stinging creatures: bees. We need bees! They pollinate plants and flowers and are necessary to make food grow. Here is info about 3 common types of bees.
- Bumble Bees: Bumble Bees almost always make their home in the ground, typically in an abandoned rodent hole. They are larger than the other bees and have a hairy belly. It is only the females that sting and since they aren’t that aggressive, unless you disturb their home you should get along fine with them in your yard. Unlike honey bees, they can sting you multiple times and if they are threatened they can chase you quite a ways, so if you find a nest in a high traffic area, it would be best to consult a pest control company to help you get rid of them. If their nest is no threat to you, leave them be!
- Honey Bees: Honey Bees are smaller than Bumble Bees. A hollow tree or in a location around rocks are a couple of places that honey bees may call home. They move in a way that looks like dancing to communicate to their fellow bees about where food is. Honey Bees produce honey as their name suggests, and store it in a structure of hexagonal cells of wax, called honeycomb. As with bumble bees, if a honey bee feels threatened, or something or someone gets too close to their nest, they will attack. Honey bees can only sting once and will die soon afterward.
- Carpenter Bees: Carpenter Bees are different than honey or bumble bees in that they don’t live in a hive and are not social bees. Many people get them confused with bumble bees, but they are smaller and don’t have a hairy belly. The female bee bores a hole in wood to lay her eggs so they are typically found in trees or areas of a home or yard with untreated wood. The males don’t sting, and the females rarely do so they don’t pose much of a risk to humans. However, they can cause damage to buildings or wood structures over time. So for that reason, they may need to be removed from your property.