STINGING INSECTS

In Mt. Vernon & Anacortes, WA

STINGING INSECTS

WASPS, HORNETS & YELLOW JACKETS

Social Wasp (yellow Jackets, Bald Faced Hornets, Paper Wasp) Social wasp have the typical wasp body type that features a very distinct head with the chewing mouthparts, short-elbowed antennae, and large compound eyes. Paper wasp are colored yellow, black, brown, and red, depending on the species, with 1/4"4" long slender bodies. They build paper nest of a single comb no paper covering. Yellow Jackets usually are marked with bright yellow and black pattern. They appear to be hairless and are about 3/8"-5/8" long. Bald Faced Hornet is similar in appearance to the yellow jacket except that it is black and white in color and S/8"-3/4" long. Yellow Jackets and Hornets build their paper nest in stacks which are surrounded by a paper envelope. Yellow Jackets usually build their nest below ground and in other protected locations. Bald Faced Hornets build their nest in trees and on the sides of buildings. Social wasp contains three individuals, or castes: Queens, workers, and males. Fertilized Queen will overwinter in a protected area until spring. In the spring the queen emerges and builds a new nest. In about 30 days the first workers emerge. By summer there is a great increase in the number of workers and the nest expands rapidly. By late summer the worker populations are at their peak and the workers become pestiferous; the production of the new queens and males begin. In early fall, the new queens and males emerge. The colony starts to decline. The new males and queens mate, the males die and the fertilized queens seek sheltered places to overwinter. The nest is gradually deserted and the nest will disintegrate with the onset of cold, wet weather. (If nest survives the winter it will not be reused.) The cycle repeats the following year.

BUMBLE BEES

The Bumble Bee is a big hairy black and yellow bee. Their size ranges from %"-1 /2" in length. There are over 200 types of Bumble Bees in the world. Bumble Bee nest are typically in the ground. Fertilized Queen bees come out of hibernation in the spring and start a new colony in a new location. The first batch of larvae is daughter which are workers, they will immediately start working on building the colony. The queen will continue to lay eggs for the rest of the summer. Towards the end of the summer the queens will start to produce drones and young queens. The young Queens are fertilized by the Drones, then fly off to hibernate. The colony's remaining drones and workers stay in the colony and die during the winter season.
Bumble Bees are very important, beneficial insects for pollinating, and should be left alone unless they are a danger to people or pets.


HONEY BEES

One of the most Familiar insects in the world is the Honeybee. This member of the insect order Hymenoptera plays a key role in the human and natural world. Honey Bees are normally about 3/4" if in length. Honey is a thick liquid produced by certain types of bees from the nectar of flowers. While many species of insects consume nectar, honeybees refine and concentrate nectar to make honey. Bees make lots of honey so they will have plenty of food for times when flower nectar in not available, such as winter months. Unlike most insects, honeybees remain active through the winter, consuming and metabolizing honey in order to keep from freezing to death. Honeybees are social insects. In the wild they create elaborate nest called hives containing up to 20,000 individuals during the summer months. Domestic hives may have over 80,000 bees. Honeybees work together in a highly structured social order. Each bee belongs to one of three specialized groups called castes. The Castes are Queens, Drones, and Workers. There is only one Queen in the hive. The Queen's job is simple. Laying the eggs that will spawn the hives next generation of bees. If the Queen dies, workers will create a new Queen by feeding one of the worker females a special diet of food called royal jelly. The elixir enables the worker to develop into a fertile Queen. Queens also regulate the hive's activity by producing chemicals that guide the behavior of the other bees. Male bees are called Drones. Several hundred drones live in each hive during the spring and summer, but they are expelled for the winter months when the hive goes into a lean survival mode. Workers are the only bees that most people ever see. These bees are female that are not sexually developed. Workers forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers). Build and protect the hive, clean, circulate air by beating their wings, and perform any other social functions. These are the only bees that can sting. Males bees do not sting. As the field bees (Older Workers) forage for nectar, pollen sticks to the fuzzy hairs which cover their bodies. Some of this pollen rubs off on the next flower they may visit, fertilizing the flower and resulting in better fruit production. Some plants will not produce fruit at all without the help of honeybees. In the United States alone, it is estimated that honeybees accomplish % of the pollination needed for all fruit produced for human consumption, an estimated $10 billion worth of work each year. Whenever possible you do not want to kill honeybees. The preferred method is to have bee's removed by a beekeeper.