Bees and Wasps
Carpenter Bee Hole. Click on images to enlarge. A Yellow Jacket's Nest

These flying, stinging and biting insects are a scary, but necessary part of our Eco System. Bees and Wasps come in more than 20,000 known species and live on every continent in the world except Antarctica. They survive in any habitat that can support flowering plants. As integrated pest management specialist we strive to find a balance between your comfort with bees and wasps, and their necessary role in our environment.

There are 3 species of Bees that are most common in Michigan, the Carpenter Bee, the Honey Bee, the Bumble Bee.

Carpenter Bees are large hairy bees that make nests by tunneling holes into wood (including trees, eves, door frames and wood siding) which are typically dime sized, and perfectly circular. They do not eat the wood, they simply bore holes for their nests into wood. Male Carpenter Bees can have a white or yellow face, and are commonly mistaken for Bumble Bees. Typically male Carpenter Bees will hover near the nest to protect it, but do not have stingers. Female Carpenter Bees have stingers, but are not typically aggressive unless provoked.

The Honey Bee is the most popular of bees, known for their work as pollinators and as great actors! Because honey bees are so non aggressive, and are integral to the environment, we do not treat them. If you have a honey bee infestation in your home you should know that they are a protected species due to their endangered status here in Michigan. If you have a problem with honey bees you should contact a local bee keeper to remove the nest. The next time you see a pretty flower that makes you smile, stop and thank a honey bee.

Bumble Bees (or Bumblebees) are social insects identified easily by black and yellow hair, usually in bands, though some species may have orange or red on their bodies, or may be entirely black. They typically mate in the autumn and have stingers which are unbarbed, meaning they can sting more than once. Though they are typically non aggressive they will sting if they feel you are too close to their nest, or if harmed. They have small nests that do not grow over 50 bees and are usually only inhabited for one year.

The two most common Wasps are the Yellow Jacket and the Bald-Faced Hornet.

The Yellow Jacket is typically confused for a bee due to its small appearance (smaller even than a honey bee). Most Yellow Jackets are black-and-yellow, though some may have distinctive abdomens with red coloring instead of black. They are also easily distinguished by their rapid, side-to-side flight pattern before landing. Yellow Jacket nests can reach the size of a basketball by the end of the season, but do not usually survive the winter months. They tend to be a very aggressive species.

Bald-Faced Hornets are the most aggressive pest we deal with. Though called "Hornets" they are actually part of the Wasp family. Their nests commonly reach 3 feet long and they are very territorial. They will sting rapidly and repeatedly if their nest is approached by anything they consider a threat. Nests are generally abandoned in the winter, but may be re-inhabited if not treated.

Do you have Bees or Wasps? Get a free inspection!