Bees and waspsDid you know that stinging insects like bees and wasps send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year?  Nobody enjoys the sting of a bee, however these tiny creatures are vitally important for our environment because they pollinate the fruits and vegetables we eat. Of 100 crop species that provide more than 90 percent of our global food supply, 71 are bee pollinated. Our planet would not thrive as it does today without bees, however, they can be a nuisance to homeowners and in some cases need to be removed.

Bee and wasp removal can be very dangerous and should only be done by a professional. Bees are social creatures and live in colonies that consist of a single queen, or up to thousands of worker bees.

Bees in Michigan – Additional Pest Information

Appearance – Baldfaced hornets are a bluish-black color with white markings on face, upper front of the body and abdomen. They are approximately ¾ of an inch long.

Biology – Baldfaced Hornet nests are an enclosed teardrop-shaped. These paper nests can be up to 3 feet long. Nests are usually attached to a tree, bush or side of a building.

Prevention – Baldfaced hornets help control many pest insect species. Adults are very protective of their nesting area and become very aggressive and dangerous if someone tries ruining their nest. Contact a professional for nest removal.

Appearance – Bumble bees help pollinate crops and plants. Their bodies are covered with hair, and black and yellow stripes. Bumble bees are large and usually about 1 inch long.

Biology- Bumble bees usually build nests in safe places like burrows near or on the ground.

Prevention – Prevent bumble bees by inspecting areas where they might build nests. Remove materials they could use to build nests. Bumble bees will sting when threatened, so homeowners are advised not to try and get rid of bumblebees themselves.


Appearance – Carpenter bees look a lot like bumble bees. However, carpenter bees have yellow hair only on the upper front of the body, and the abdomen is blue-black, green or purple metallic and shiny and about 1 inch long.

Biology – They tend to like being near wooden structures.

Prevention – Carpenter bees like bare wood, so painting and staining wood can sometimes keep them away. However, they will sometimes attack stained or painted wood, so contact a pest control professional for assistance.

Appearance – Very common around homes, European paper wasps are black and white with yellow stripes. They’re usually about 1 inch long.

Biology – European paper wasps tend to build their open nests hanging from tree branches or overhangs of homes.

Prevention – European paper wasps help control many insect pests. However, if their nest is built near human activity, control is recommended because paper wasps quickly rebuild.


Appearance – Close relative to hornets, the abdomen of the yellow jackets has black and yellow stripes. They are about ½ to ¾ inches long.

Biology – Their nests are usually underground in burrows or in hollow logs or holes inside of walls.

Prevention – Yellow jackets are helpful because their diet mainly consists of many different kinds of insects, that are usually pests. However, if they built their nest near places that humans are around, it is recommended to get a hold of a professional to get rid of them.

Appearance – They are about ½ inch long. They will get angry if you bother them.

Biology – Honeybees are social insects. They are an extremely important when it comes to pollination. Honeybees pollinate more than 100 crops in the U.S. They usually build their hives in hollow trees or in man-made structures.

Prevention – Honeybees should be taken care of by a professional. Trying to remove a honeybee nest and the honey they make can be very messy. Because honeybee colonies are so large, only a pest control professional or experienced beekeeper can safely remove a honeybee nest.

Common Nesting Sites

Yellow Jacket – Yellow jacket nests are most commonly found below ground in old rodent burrows but can also be found in trees, shrubs, inside walls and attics.

Paper Wasps – Paper wasp nests are found under any horizontal surface such as decks and patios but can also be found in garages and sheds.

Honey Bees – Honey bee nests are made from a series of honey combs made of wax. These are mostly manufactured hives but can also be found in trees and buildings.

Bumble Bees – Bumble bee nesting sites include old mice burrows and building cavities.