Bees, Hornets & Wasps NY

Identification & Control

Hornet, Wasp and Bee Removal in NY, NJ and CT

Don’t let the bees and wasps in New York disrupt your summer fun. If you have a stinging insect problem near your home or business, Assured Environments can help. 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 New York wasp species and bees of all types is to remove or destroy the nest. However, without the proper gear and knowledge, you may find yourself the target of aggressive insect stings. Assured Environments has experienced technicians who provide safe bee, wasp and hornet nest removal services for the NYC, 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 rounder bodies that are covered with short downy hairs. These hairs attract pollen granules while the bees 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 450 bee types in NY.

Unlike bees, wasps and hornets have smooth, slim bodies with narrow waists. Their streamlined design makes them better suited as hunters. Wasps and hornets 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 of 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 Queen bees, and workers maintain the colony. The remaining native bees of New York state are solitary varieties like digger bees which nest underground.

A bees nest in a tree.
A wasp nest under a roof.

NYC 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. In the fall, social wasp nests collapse and all members become solitary. This is why you see more wasps foraging on their own during this time of year.

Appearance and Identification

Bee, Hornet and Wasp Identification in New York and Surrounding Areas

A honeybee mid-flight.

Honey Bees

There are over 20,000 species of honey bee in the world. They are 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. Honeybees are smaller and less round than bumblebees.

A bumblebee on a white background.


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). Bumblebees are the more round, fuzzy variety of bee.

A wasp mid-flight.


“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 popular type of wasp found in eastern North America.

A sideways-facing hornet on a white background.


The only “true” hornets in NY and North America are European hornets or Vespa crabro. Yellowjackets are commonly mistaken for hornets because of their similar 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 their development stages which include egg, larvae, pupa, and adult.

A queen bee spends the majority of her life in the honeycomb laying eggs. These eggs take around 3 days to hatch. Newly hatched 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, adult bees emerge ready to perform their role within the hive.

Eusocial wasps undergo a life cycle similar to bees. A wasp queen will live for as long as a year and 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 their primary food source when they hatch.

The life cycle of a bee, from egg to adult.

Bee and Wasp Stings

Both NY bees and wasps 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 to hunt. Like bumblebees, they can sting repeatedly and will defend their nest collectively. Hornet stings are considered the most painful of the group even though bee stings contain a higher level of venom.

Bee and Wasp Sting Treatment

If you’re 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 Stinging Insects Away

There are many natural and commercial measures you can take to keep buzzing intruders from ruining your next picnic or BBQ. Here are a few steps to keep bees, wasps and hornets away from your NY, CT or NJ home:

  • Plant natural insect repellents. Stinging insects don’t like flowers like marigolds, citronella and geraniums or herbs like peppermint, lemongrass and lavender. You can also make a natural insect spray with 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. Not 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 wasp and bee nests.

New York Bee, Wasp and Hornet Removal

If bees, wasps or large hornets in NY 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!

A gloved hand spraying a hornet's nest.

More Information

Bee and Wasp FAQ

What types of wasps in New York sting?

All wasps will sting if provoked or feel threatened. The most common type of wasp in New York and the rest of the United States are yellowjackets followed closely by paper wasps.

What is the difference between paper wasps vs yellowjackets?

Yellowjackets have distinctive gold or yellow patterning. Paper wasps tend to be more brown or reddish with thinner wastes and longer legs. Paper wasps have yellow tipped antennae while yellowjacket's antennae are black.

What kind of bee or wasp nest is in my yard?

Bees use a waxy substance to build their nests while wasps use regurgitated wood pulp. Bee nests will have a smooth sheen to them while wasp nests tend to be gray and papery.

Are there different types of wasps in CT?

Connecticut has the same common types of wasps as New York: paper wasps, yellow jackets and white faced hornets.

Are murder hornets in New York?

Murder hornets originate in East Asia and Siberia. They have been identified in Washington State and Georgia but not New York or any other east coast states.

Can wasps be all black?

Yes. If you see a black wasp in New York, it’s likely a great black wasp. This is a variety of wasp common to much of the U.S. They prefer dry, sandy soil to burrow in.

Where can I find NY wasp control?

For fast and reliable identification and elimination of Wasps in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area, contact Assured Environments.