So, you’ve found a hive. What type of hive is it? That is a very important question because it helps you determine whether to call a local bee keeper or if the hive is bothersome, whether to call a removal service or pest control service. Let’s go over some basics to help you identify that hive!
Honey Bee Hives
Honey bee hives can be found in wooden structures, in hollowed out trees or other sheltered spaces. Honey bees build hives out of a waxy substance with the characteristic rows of honeycomb. If you find a honey bee hive, it’s important to have a local bee keeper come in to safely relocate the hive. The honey bee population has been steeply declining over the last several years due to colony collapse disorder, often thought to be linked to pesticides and other toxins. Bees are our most prevalent pollinators of foods and crops so they are vital to our food supply.
Another way you might encounter honey bees is in a swarm. A swarm is a group of bees that leave the original hive with a new queen to help establish a new hive for her. A swarm is not dangerous unless provoked, though the sight of a few hundred bees huddled together on the side of a house or in a tree might be concerning. This is another case where you want to call a local bee keeper ASAP to come relocate the swarm and help them establish a new hive.
Wasp and Hornet Hives
Wasps and hornets typically create paper-looking hives that are gray or drab brown in color. The exception is the yellow jacket and we’ll get to him in a minute. Typical papery wasp and hornet nests can be attached to structures, in trees, in awnings and are often out in the open. However, you can also find wasp and hornet hives in attics, garages, sheds and other structures where the hive is more hidden. If you see a papery-looking hive, keep your distance. Wasps and hornets are more aggressive than bees and will attack if they feel threatened. They can also sting multiple times whereas a honey bee can only sting once and then it dies.
The yellow jacket is the exception and often build their hives or nests underground. In this case, if you see a hole in the ground from which yellow jackets are coming and going, you’ve found their nest. While bumble bees will sometimes use abandoned rodent burrows to nest underground, their big fuzzy bodies are easily distinguishable from a sleek yellow jacket.
Wasps and hornets also help pollinate plants but serve a greater purpose as predators of other insects, including mosquitoes. So, if the hive or nest isn’t bothersome to you, it’s best to just let them be to do their work. If the nest or hive is in your attic or wall of your home or is otherwise bothersome, don’t try to remove them yourself. Call a removal service or pest control service to deal with wasp and hornet hives. When they sting, they inject venom into your skin that can make some people very ill, especially when each can sting you multiple times. If you have a hive or nest that you can’t identify, call Pee Dee Wildlife Control and we’ll help you identify that hive.