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Are You Often Confused Between Bees, Wasps and Hornets?

The common and major similarity among bees, wasps and hornets is these stinging pests raise the fear and worries of public encountering their presence, and particularly risking their health and safety should they get stung.

The question is, do these pests feed on the same thing? What dangers do they bring? What should public take note of?

There are 4 common bee species which are not necessary dangerous or harmful to us. For example, solitary bee rarely stings, or stings only when provoke like carpenter bees. Known as pollinators, bees are often found near plants or flowers for pollen or nectar feeding, extraction and distribution. Often confused between Honey Bee and Bumble Bee, the obvious outlook difference is the golden stripe found on a Bumble bee.

How to differentiate if these are bee species flying near you? Keep a look out for their furry body and flattened legs. Bees are usually considered both helpful and harmful. Did you know, besides harming humans, bees such as Carpenter Bees can also harm and damage wooden structures! Before these bees infestation manifest into a serious problem for your family or even colleagues, take early steps to identify potential bee infestation such as bee hives, presence of smooth round holes made on your structure. Always seek professional inspection and detection if you are unsure.

Here are simple tips to prevent potential sting risks:

  • Avoid fragrance, or scented applications such as body lotion or mist and hair spray
  • Bright colors or floral print attires might attract bees’ attention
  • Similar to mosquito bites, wear long pants or sleeves to protect your body from bitten
  • Avoid resting near high-risk bees area such as flowers and plants
  • Stay calm and do not do dramatic actions that might provoke bees
  • Loose fitting clothing might raise entry opportunities for these bees
  • Ensure you wear proper closed up footwear to avoid feet being stung

Professional pest control that can implement bee control such as removal of bee hives are just a call away. You should never attempt to remove it on your own.

Further reading: All About Bees – 9 Essential Steps When Encountering Bees 

Wasps and hornets on the other hand are more predatory and feed on insects. Slim and narrow in body structure with shiny appearance, they can be aggressive and may result in dangerous stings that cause allergic reaction or life threatening conditions. Known as a social-based wasp colony, wasps go through a reproduction process, starting from the queen building and producing her nest.

Most Common Bees and Wasps in Indonesia

Besides outlook difference, wasps can sting repeatedly (this is because they do not have barbs) and they do not swarm around like bees. While wasps bear harmful risks to people, just like bees or lizards, they are beneficial to some extent, as they feed on flies, and help to keep the population down! Equip yourself with some wasp treatment tips if you get stung by them and more importantly stay calm as well as always seek proper medical attention to avoid placing yourself at life danger.

What about hornets? People often confused to distinguish between wasps and hornet. Here are some differences to clarify your confusion:

  • Size of the colony – wasps colony tend to be smaller
  • Shape and placement of nest – hornets build large nests on tree branches
  • Size or length of the body – hornets are on estimates 1 to 1.5 inches long
  • Colour – Hornets are usually black and white with some brownish and reddish appearance
  • Diet – Hornets do not like sweet consumption

How do we tell if that is a wasps or hornet nest? What is the difference between hornet and bee hives?

  • Hornets nests are usually grey in colour, and it looks like paper-finishing appearance.
  • They are often found very high above, such as trees or roof
  • Within the nest, see if there is a huge colony present

Distinguishing these similar stinging insects can be challenging, especially for residents or employees who have little knowledge on these pests. Always seek professional help to detect and remove to avoid placing your family or colleagues at risks.

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