Q: What is the difference between a bee and a wasp?
A: Bees and wasps are both members of the order Hymenoptera, but there are some important differences between them. Bees have rounder bodies that are either all or partly fuzzy. Wasps are smooth and more slender than bees. There is also a big difference in what they eat. Bees like pollen and nectar, while wasps are omnivorous, often preying on other insects.
Q: What good are they, anyway?
A: Bees and wasps are actually very useful. Bees are responsible for pollinating almost all the plants we eat or enjoy growing in our flower gardens. If we lost all of our bees, the effect on our food supply would be catastrophic. Wasps help us out by eating other bugs, helping to keep the insect population under control.
Q: Okay, so they’re the good guys, but I don’t want to share my house with them. If I ignore them, will they go away?
A: Ignoring an infestation of bees or wasps is not likely to be helpful. Honeybees, for example, will use the same nest for years. Wasps often abandon their nests in the autumn but come back to the same spot to rebuild in the spring. If you want to get rid of them, you’re going to have to give them a little shove.
Q: It sounds like I need to pick up a couple of cans of bug spray at the grocery store.
A: No, this is not a good idea! In the first place, spraying a large colony of stinging insects can have serious, even fatal, consequences. To repeat: A ticked-off colony of bees or wasps can kill you. In the second place, the world is seeing an alarming decline in the honeybee population that we don’t fully understand, so a wholesale slaughter of pollinating insects is exactly the wrong thing to do. A professional bee removal company can solve your problem in a way that is safe and environmentally responsible.
Q: Do all bees and wasps attack and sting in swarms?
A: No, some types are actually solitary. Honeybees, social wasps, yellow jackets and hornets are the most likely to attack in large groups.
Q: Why are some kinds of bees and wasps more dangerous than others?
A: The danger bees and wasps pose depends upon their social structure, their ability to sting and the level of aggression they display. Let’s look at some examples.
– Honeybees: Honeybees will attack in a swarm to defend their nest. Unfortunately, almost all the Los Angeles area has been colonized with the very aggressive Africanized bees. Each honeybee can only sting once before it dies.
– Carpenter bees: Carpenter bees are solitary, so they do not swarm. The females can sting, but they are very non-aggressive. They are considered a nuisance because of the damage they can cause to wooden structures, not because they are a threat to people.
– Bumble bees: Bumble bees are social, but live in small groups. While they will sting, they are not aggressive.
– Wasps: Only the wasps that live in large social groups will swarm, but they may be very aggressive when threatened. The same wasp can sting over and over again.
– Yellow jackets: Yellow jackets are small, but they are very aggressive and have a very painful sting. Each yellow jacket can sting repeatedly, and they will attack as a group.
– Hornets: Hornets are large, aggressive and dangerous. They attack in groups with very powerful stings.
Q: Why do you only remove six types of bee and wasp?
A: We concentrate on the species that pose the biggest threat. Insects that are damaging your home or endangering your life need to go. Insects that are usually solitary and do no more than buzz around can just be left alone.
Q: How can I tell if the bees or wasps I’m worried about are ones that I need to, well, worry about?
A: You can identify bees and wasps by their appearance and by the kind of nest they build. You can check out the pictures on our site to get an up-close look. If you don’t even want to get close enough to your little insect neighbors to find out what they are, we understand. We’ll be happy to stop by and check out the situation, and we can give you a free estimate on what it will cost to remove them if that is necessary.
Q: What area do you service?
A: We perform bee removal in Los Angeles, Orange County and the surrounding cities.