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

Subject: Cicada Killer, Japanese or European hornet?
Location: Grove City, PA
October 17, 2013 7:28 am
This was on my door frame, right outside early in the morning, October 17. It was chilly out and very damp. He seemed pretty chilled and not moving, but when the sun came out and he dried off, he ”woke up” and he really did not like my being anywhere near him. Just wondering if he is anything to worry about.
Signature: Jodi

European Hornet

European Hornet

Hi Jodi,
This is a European Hornet. We wonder if any of our readers can identify this individual as a queen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bee vs wasp
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
October 8, 2013 4:33 pm
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Season: October
Hello!
Let me first say, thank you for this website. You have saved me many panic attacks of ’what is the spider in the shower with me and will it kill me’ moments.
Now then, the age-old (laymen’s) question of is it a bee or a wasp.
The photos I am submitting are of a handsome fellow that represents the sort of company I keep during lunch every day. I find them to be quite harmless, rather sociable (sitting on my arm or leg to clean or check out what I am eating), curious and quite handsome (did I say that already?)
To me, this is a bee. I know, not a bumblebee and probably not a honeybee, but to me, this is a bee. Everyone else who sits with me says it is a wasp. Generally, three or four come to visit while we eat outside and I am the only one who is not bothered.
Bee or wasp? I’ll trust your final word.
Signature: Katherine

Yellowjacket

Yellowjacket

Hi Katherine,
This Yellowjacket is a social Wasp closely related to the Hornets.  Yellowjackets are often attracted to picnics and garbage cans with food where they feed on sugary liquids and they return with the nest with meaty proteins to feed the larvae.  See BugGuide for additional information.

Wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to answer me. :)
Since I am so popular with them, I was hoping for some sort of “bee whisper” title. But ‘Mother to Wasps’ works just as well. hahahah.
Thanks again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug
Location: Coorg hills, India
October 3, 2013 5:45 am
I got stung by this, please identify it
Signature: YC

Unknown Hornet

Greater Banded Hornet

Dear YC,
After some time searching, we believe we have correctly identified your Greater Banded Hornet,
Vespa tropica, thanks to images posted on BlogSpot and TrekNature which states:  “This species is a subterranean wasp. Adults are medium to large sized, dark brown to black and yellowish orange marked on the gaster. This species is very similar to Vespa affinis, but easily distinguished from the latter by bright yellow or yellow orange at the second gastral segment.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: First Fall Day. Fly/Bee/Hornet
Location: SW Michigan, USA
September 24, 2013 5:42 am
Here are a few more pics from my first full fall day foray in my backyard- in the middle of a mature oak forest. I’m sure that the hornet is an eastern Yellow Jacket, but it wasn’t pictured in my guidebook. The fly pictured was out in force on many leaves. The bee is half the size of the larger Bumblebees that I see. Could it be a Digger Bee? I’ve noticed in the last 2 weeks that they seem to nap on my Marigolds. I can actually stroke them with my finger and all they do is raise their middle pair of legs as if to say “leave me alone, I’m napping”. I’ve done this to many of them and they all react the same way.
Signature: d.k.dodge

Yellowjacket

Yellowjacket

Dear d.k. dodge,
Thank you for submitting nine photographs of insects and other bugs that you photographed on the first day of fall.  We are posting the photo of a Yellowjacket because we don’t have many nice close ups of them and your photo is quite detailed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp?
Location: Central PA
September 10, 2013 2:59 pm
This insect shows up on our covered back porch above the door at night only after the porch light had been on for awhile. I never see them during the day. I believe they live behind the porch light. They are about 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 inches long. My wife thinks they are cicada killers, but I believe they might be scarab hunter wasps. They seem pretty docile and have never stung anyone. I do have a sting allergy and have some reservations about using this door at night. Anyone light you can shed on this would be very much appreciated.
Signature: Rick Davis

European Hornets

European Hornets

Dear Rick,
These are European Hornets, an introduced species that might be negatively impacting native species by preying upon them and displacing them in the food chain.  They might have a nest in the attic.  We have read on BugGuide that they are attracted to lights, so your letter is evidence that is correct.

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for the quick reply.  You certainly nailed this one.  According to the literature you referenced, the nest will move on after the queen dies.  (I made a small donation to your site.)  Thanks again.
Rick

That was very kind of your Rick.  Thanks for the support.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: hornets and nectar
Location: North Carolina
September 7, 2013 11:57 am
I am enjoying taking photos of the hornets and have started to appreciate insects now that my hummers have left for the winter. In trying to research online, I found that I don’t have much knowledge about these critters. Thought these were Japanese Hornets but now wonder if they are European. Also, thrilled to see photo of Bald Faced on your site….one identified.
I have been curiously watching these large hornets make trip after trip from the hummer feeder up into the trees. Obviously nest is up there somewhere. My question is how do they use the nectar? Is it food, used to produce something like honey bees do, feed the queen or others, or…….?
Appreciate identification and any information as to dangers from and also any benefits they may have in nature.
Any books on flying critters that you would recommend…..anything like a field guide or such?
Signature: estack

European Hornets

European Hornets

Dear estack,
Your action photos are gorgeous.  You are correct that these are European Hornets,
Vespa crabro.  Many adult wasps and hornets feed on nectar and other sweets, like overripe fruit and sap, but they hunt insects or other sources of protein to feed their larvae.  This is also true about the European Hornets.  Since European Hornets prey upon insects and they are not native, European Hornets might have a negative impact on native species.  We cannot think of a good book that concentrates on strictly flying insects, unless you want to be specific like a butterfly guide or a dragonfly guide.  For a general guide to insects, we strongly recommend Eric Eaton’s book Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America.

European Hornets

European Hornets

Thank you so much for such a quick (and kind) reply.  I hate to harm any wildlife, but these hornets have become and are quite a problem.  I may have to find an exterminator to help locate the nest and help me eliminate the main source.  They do tend to get into my house at night – following the light – and I am violently allergic to stings, as is my dog who finds them wonderful “toys” to chase.
Thank you again so very much and I’ll follow up on finding the reading material you suggested.
Ena

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination