Bees, Hornets, and Wasps of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
Hornet, Wasp and Bee Removal NY and Beyond
Don’t let flying pests with stingers disrupt your summer fun. Bees, wasps, and hornets in New York build hives and nests along eaves, under porches and in trees. They enter structures through gaps in doors, windows, foundations or walls. If you see one, chances are there are more nearby.
The best way to deal with a bee, wasp, or hornet infestation is to move or destroy the nest. Without proper gear and knowledge and you may find yourself the target of aggressive insect stings. A professional pest control company like Assured Environments has experienced technicians who provide bee, wasp and hornet nest removal services for the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area.
What is the Difference Between Bees, Wasps and Hornets?
The most noticeable difference between bees wasps and hornets is that bees have a rounder body shape with short downy hairs. These hairs attract pollen granules while they sip flower nectar. Bees subsist on nectar and store it in a special stomach that breaks down the nectar’s complex sugars into simpler ones. This becomes honey, which the bees store as a winter food source for the hive. There are some 416 types of bees in New York.
Wasps and hornets have smooth, slim bodies with narrow waists. Their streamlined design makes them better suited as hunters. Wasps and hornets will prey upon other insects and will scavenge anything from carrion to garbage. They adapt quickly to whatever food sources are available.
All hornets are wasps but not all wasps are hornets. Hornets represent the larger members of the wasp family. They also tend to be mostly black and may have white banding. Common varieties of wasps in NY include paper wasps and yellowjackets.
Bee, Wasp and Hornet Nests
About half the bees in New York and New Jersey are eusocial beings meaning they live together as one hive or “superorganism” where caste roles are clearly defined. Queens produce eggs, drones will mate with other Queen bees, and workers maintain the colony. The rest of New York bees are solitary varieties like digger bees.
Wasps also divide into social and solitary species. The social variety of wasps are eusocial like bees and function as a colony. They build large papery nests from regurgitated wood pulp and operate as a caste system. Solitary wasps often live underground and are less aggressive.
Appearance and Identification
Types of Bees, Hornets, and Wasps in New York and Beyond
Over 20,000 species divided into seven families, categorized in the clade Anthophila within the larger superfamily Apoidea. The most common honeybee, the Western or European honeybee, is Apis mellifera.
Bumblebees, which also feed on nectar, belong to the Bombus genus within the family Apidae (itself a part of the superfamily Apoidea). There are 46 species of bumblebee in North America. The most common in New York is the common eastern bumblebee (Bombus impatiens).
“Wasp” is a broad term for any insect in the order Hymenoptera and the suborder Apocrita that is not a bee or an ant. All eusocial wasps and most commonly known wasps belong to the Vesipidae family of wasps. This family includes the common wasp or European wasp, Vespula vulgaris. You may also encounter the Eastern yellowjacket (Vespula maculifrons), which is a type of wasp found in eastern North America.
The only “true” hornet found in North America is the European hornet, Vespa crabro. Yellowjackets are commonly mistaken for hornets because they are similar in appearance. Yellowjackets commonly referred to as hornets in North America belong to the genus Dolichovespula. The most common “hornet” encountered in New York is the Bald-faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata), which is a type of yellowjacket.
Reproduction and Life Cycle
All bees and wasps undergo similar metamorphosis through the development stages of egg, larvae, pupa, and adult.
The queen bee lays eggs in the honeycomb repeatedly for her whole life. Eggs take around 3 days to hatch. Larvae remain in their cells, where they're fed by workers until they pupate. Pupation takes anywhere between 15 days to a month. After pupating, adults emerge ready to perform their role within the hive.
Eusocial wasps undergo a life cycle similar to bees. A wasp queen can lay up to 25,000 eggs in her lifetime. After they hatch, wasp workers feed larvae for 1 to 3 weeks, at which point wasps pupate. Solitary wasps will mate and forage alone. These wasps may lay eggs on prey, so their offspring can consume the prey as a food source when they hatch.
Bee and Wasp Stings
Bees and wasps both deliver painful stings to people. Bees only sting defensively, wasps may act aggressively. Honeybees die after using their stinger, while bumblebees can sting repeatedly.
Wasps will sting to defend themselves and hunt. Like bumblebees, they can sting repeatedly. Hornet stings are considered the most painful of the group even though bees have a higher level of venom.
If you are stung by any of the above, you’ll probably experience a mild burning sensation in the affected area. If you’re allergic, stings can be dangerous and cause you to go into anaphylactic shock. Bee sting kits also work for wasp stings.
For normal stings, keep the area of the sting clean and use a cold compress to ease discomfort. Apply hydrocortisone or calamine lotion to stings that itch. If the sting becomes infected or you have severe symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
How to Keep Bees, Wasps and Hornets Away
There are many measures, natural and commercial, that you can take to keep buzzing intruders from ruining your next BBQ. Here are a few steps to keep bees, wasps and hornets away from your NY, CT or NJ home:
- Plant natural repellents. Stinging insects don’t like flowers like marigolds, citronella and geraniums or herbs like peppermint, lemongrass and lavender. You can also make an herb oil to spray around your yard and deck.
- Cucumber peels, mothballs and dryer sheets. All three of these have been proven to repel bees and wasps. Set some around your space when you’re outside.
- Plant flowers strategically. We all love a beautiful flower garden in summer. By planning flower beds away from decks and porches, you minimize insect traffic to those areas.
- Avoid bright colors and fragrances. Bees are attracted to bright colors and flowery smells. By wearing muted tones and using a plain table linen, you avoid calling unwanted attention.
- Cover food and drinks. Now always ideal but even putting sweet drinks in covered glasses helps.
- Create a bait station. Pour sweet liquids like soda or juice in a bowl and place it away from your activities. Hopefully, bees and wasps will be drawn away.
- Look for hives and nests. If you experience a lot of stinging insects near your home, you may have a hive or nest nearby. A pest control professional can help locate and eliminate these structures.
New York Bee, Wasp and Hornet Removal
If flying insects are keeping you indoors this summer, contact Assured Environments. Our professional team can find, remove and prevent bees and wasps from invading your yard. Take the sting out of summer pests with a breath of fresh air from Assured!
Great Pollinator Project.org’s Pictorial Guide to Common Bees in the NY Metro Area
Cornell University New York State Integrated Pest Management page article: “How to Deal with Stinging Insects”
Bumble Bee Conservation Trust article: “About Bee’s Lifecycle”
Ready to Get Started?
Keep your property clean and pest free with Assured's services!