Currently viewing the category: "Hornets and Yellow Jackets"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hornet ID …
Location: Monetville, Ontario, Canada, which is south of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
August 11, 2016 10:56 am
We saw these “hornets” August 11, 2016 in the area of Monetville, Ontario, Canada, which is south of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
They were operating like dive bombers attacking and carrying away flies.
Accurate attacking the flies but did not appear to be bothering people.
Signature: Paul Kehoe

Bald Faced Hornet

Bald Faced Hornet

Dear Paul,
This is a Bald Faced Hornet, a species of social wasp.  Most adult wasps feed on nectar and other sugary substances, like ripe fruit or sap.  We suspect the Flies they were catching are being taken back to the nest to feed the larvae.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults are common on flowers and take nectar. Adults feed pre-chewed insects to larvae. Also are carnivorous and eat fruit.”

Comment from our Facebook Page
Brenda Russell Armstrong
August 12 at 2:30pm
One of my favourites. Many years ago living in northern BC by the Stikine River we were cutting fish for drying and the black flies, horse flies, etc. were bad. Then the BF Hornets arrived and began capturing and processing the flies for their winter larder. There were catchers, and others that trimmed the various (inedible?) bits and others that wrapped the carcass into a leaf from a nearby wild apple tree and then turned the bundle over to other hornets that flew them off to the nest for storage. Not making this up. Would find it hard to believe if I hadn’t seen it myself. Any one else see something similar?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Swallowtail Butterfly Alaska
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
July 11, 2016 6:10 pm
Here is the ONLY photo of one of the yellow Swallowtail butterflies that I have seen in Alaska. I can’t believe I don’t have more pictures. I will be on the look out for more photos now that I know you are interested.
I think have seen at least 2 different species of yellow swallowtail here in Anchorage. This is one of them, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but it is the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail. (Taken in Anchorage, Alaska May 2010)
Signature: MsRobin

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Dear MsRobin,
We are very happy we decided today to look back over the past two weeks to see if we missed anything in the 100s of unanswered emails, and we discovered the request we made from you, unopened in the mailbox.  We agree that this is most likely a Canadian Tiger Swallowtail,
Papilio canadensis.  You may enjoy our own account of trying to get a decent image of the Western Tiger Swallowtails that frequent our office garden.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant wasp in NJ
Location: New Jersey
May 13, 2016 5:09 pm
Hey bugman,
I pump gas in Northern New Jersey, and i found this big guy behind a gas door. I ended up removing the gas cap and filling the car before i even noticed, and was too afraid to put the cap back on.
I managed to snap the fist photo while in was still on the gas cap.
I was able to get it out with a broom without killing it, and snapped a second photo. I brought it to a safe distance and set it free.
It was a out an inch to an inch and a half long, yellow and black patterned abdomen, with black and blood red spattered on the head and back
Can you help me identify this type of bee/ wasp thing?
Signature: Sincerily, cstar4004

European Hornet

European Hornet

Dear cstar4004,
This is an introduced European Hornet,
Vespa crabro, a species that has been established in North America since the end of the 19th Century.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big bee/wasp
Location: South central indiana
April 28, 2016 7:40 pm
We had this big bee/wasp fly into our home. It almost was if he was drunk. He would fly into a corner than crash to the ground. Then lay for a few minute. Get up and fly for ten seconds then crash.
We are in south central Indiana.
Signature: Paul

European Hornet

European Hornet

Dear Paul,
This is a European Hornet,
Vespa crabo, and judging by the time of year, the circumstances under which you found her, and her behavior, we believe she is a Queen who just ended her hibernation and is about to begin a new colony.  You should release her.  You can read more about European Hornets on BugGuide.

Daniel, thanks for the answer and confirmation. About 15 minutes after I sent the email I concluded the same thing. I gave her an apple to feed off of and then released her today. She seemed much more energetic. It is amazing how much of he apple slices she ate.
Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully the nest she builds will be away from the house.
Have a good weekend.
Paul

Apple eaten by European Hornet

Apple eaten by European Hornet

Thanks for the update Paul.  We will be tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award for your kindness to the lower beasts.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Are these bees? Are they dangerous?
Location: Guatemala
March 2, 2016 3:38 pm
Hi,
I have two types of bees (?) in my back patio. One type is big in size and just starting a nest, very slowly (they seem to take forever, it has been the same size for weeks) and I only see like 4 or 5 of them (see picture 1).
The other type are much smaller but they have a much bigger nest (see picture 2).
My question is the ones you see on picture 1, are they dangerous? They look a bit scary.
Thanks!
Signature: Danielle

Paper Wasp Nest

Paper Wasp Nest

Dear Danielle,
Your first image depicts the construction of a Paper Wasp nest, most likely a member of the genus
Polistes.  Like other social wasps, they will defend the nest from an intruder or attacker by stinging, but they are not considered aggressive.  We tried to search species from Guatemala, and we found this image on ABC Wildlife that appears to be the same as your species, but there is no name provided.  Here is a similar nest from our own archives.  Your other nest appears to be a Hornet Nest.

Hornet Nest

Hornet Nest


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug identification
Location: Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England
February 8, 2016 5:32 am
Please could you take a look at the attached picture of an insect which was in my friends house and identify it for her please? Apparent his is the second one she has had. It looks like some sort of bee to me but I’m not sure.
Signature: Nicola Bailey-Berry

Common Wasp

Common Wasp

Dear Nicola,
Today we learned that insects known as Yellow Jackets in North America are called Common Wasps in England.  We identified your Common Wasp,
Vespula vulgaris, thanks to the iSpot site where it states:  ” The common wasp usually forms large colonies below ground, but occasionally nests may be made in wall cavities, hollow trees and attics. Queens emerge from hibernation during the spring, and they search for a suitable location in which to start a new colony. She then begins to build the nest with chewed up wood pulp, which dries to make a papery substance. A few eggs are laid, which develop into non-reproductive workers. These workers eventually take over the care of the nest, and the queen’s life is then devoted solely to egg laying. At the end of autumn a number of eggs develop into new queens and males, which leave the nest and mate. The new queens seek out suitable places in which to hibernate, and the males and the old colony (including the old queen) die.”  We suspect the individual found by your friend is a hibernating queen that will soon begin to construct her own nest when the weather warms.  North American Yellow Jackets, and we suspect your Common Wasp as well, are not normally aggressive, though they will defend the nest by stinging any perceived or actual threats.  Getty Images has a nice image of a nest of Common Wasps.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination