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

Subject:  Bald-faced Hornet or Blackjacket?
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 06/23/2018
Time: 06:13 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this robust looking hornet at the edge of the woods on our property a couple of days ago.  It doesn’t look quite right for a bald-faced hornet to me, although several have insisted that it is one.  I think it looks better for a Blackjacket, which would also be a new species for me.
Can you give me some wisdom?
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah Bifulco

Parasitic Yellowjacket

Dear Deborah,
We always enjoy your submissions.  Quite frankly, we do not know how to easily tell the difference between a Bald Faced Hornet and a Blackjacket, but we are working on getting you an answer.  Our gut instinct is that this is a Bald Faced Hornet.  We have contacted Eric Eaton for assistance.

Parasitic Yellowjacket

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
Oh, wow, this is neither Bald-faced Hornet nor Blackjacket.  It is a social parasite of the Aerial Yellowjacket.  It is called the Parasitic Yellowjacket, Dolichovespula arctica.  Always a great find!  They are not that common.
https://bugguide.net/node/view/14075
and my own blog post:  http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2017/07/one-of-these-is-not-like-others.html
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Hi again Deborah,
BugGuide also indicates:  “The species most easily confused with the Parasitic is the Blackjacket.”  Eric Eaton’s blog posting is very informative, including the statement that the Parasitic Yellowjacket “has no worker caste like the Aerial Yellowjacket, only reproductive females, and males.”

Well, how cool!!  I am so glad I sent this to you.  I just didn’t think it was a bald-faced, but would never have come up with this identification without your and Eric’s help.  Thank you!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Orange County, NY
Date: 05/26/2018
Time: 08:17 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Woke up to find this giant bee IN MY BEDROOM this morning. It wanted out (and I wanted it out) and somehow everyone left the room alive. It was a significantly large bee — unquestionably the biggest I’ve ever seen, and solidly in the inch-long realm.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks

European Hornet

This is not a bee.  It is a European Hornet, a species introduced to North America at the end of the nineteenth century.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Berks County Pennsylvania
Date: 05/20/2018
Time: 11:13 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman —
This bee was found in my garage. I’ve never seen one so big. Unfortunately it was killed before I could get to it. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s about the thickness of a pinky finger. The giant Asian hornet is the only thing I could find that looked similar. Should I be worried?
How you want your letter signed:  Oswald

European Hornet

Dear Oswald,
This is a European Hornet, a species introduced to North America toward the end of the Nineteenth Century.  It has naturalized.  Though European Hornets are not aggressive, they will sting to defend a nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bald faced hornet nest
Geographic location of the bug:  Washington D.C. Metro area, USA
Date: 05/19/2018
Time: 07:57 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  A couple weeks ago I was surprised when I noticed a “beehive” (I know they’re not bees) newly under construction right to the side of my garage. I was really surprised because it’s being built ON the siding! I was able to find out it’s a bald faced hornets nest. Now I need to figure out what to do about it. From what I’ve researched it should only be the Queen in there right now…which would explain why I’ve only ever seen one hornet on it. I don’t wanna kill her like everyone keeps telling me to but I do need to remove it. What is the best way to do so where I’m not gonna get killed by this thing or kill her?!
*I may have a slight irrational fear of all things “bee”.
The first pic I included is of the nest about three days ago. The second pic is just to show where on the house the nest is located.
How you want your letter signed:  Christine O.

Bald Faced Hornet Nest

Hi Christine,
We can see by the images you provided that this Bald Faced Hornet nest is positioned so it is near the entrance to your home.  Hornets are social wasps that will defend the nest.  While we acknowledge your quandary regarding this matter, alas we do not provide extermination advice.  We would advise you to act before the queen Bald Faced Hornet’s first brood become adults as the workers will help her to defend the nest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  are those eastern Yellow Jackets queens?
Geographic location of the bug:  Malvern, PA 19355 – USA
Date: 11/11/2017
Time: 03:19 PM EDT
I found 3 of those inside my house, on inital research it points that they are eastern yellow jackets and with the dots, they are queens, but what are the odds of finding 3 queens in 3 days?
How you want your letter signed:  Thiago Lopes

Yellowjacket Queens

Dear Thiago,
We believe the markings on these Yellowjackets are a closer match to the introduced German Yellowjacket Queen pictured on BugGuide.  Each fall, a nest of Yellowjackets produces multiple queens that mate and find a place to hibernate over the winter.  If your house was the nearest possible location for hibernation, and if it was especially inviting as well as providing an entrance for them, it is very possible that more than one queen would seek out your house as a potential site for hibernation.

Yellowjacket Queen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is this a hornet?
Geographic location of the bug:  Richmond, va
Date: 10/30/2017
Time: 04:18 PM EDT
On my doorknob. Won’t move. I don’t wanna mess with it. Please identify.
How you want your letter signed:  Frantzis

European Hornet

Dear Frantzis,
This is a non-native European Hornet.  We suspect, because of the season, that this might be a new queen that is searching for a good place to hibernate.  According to the Penn State Department of Entomology:  “The overwintering queens are somewhat larger – up to 35 mm” and “Each fall, the colony produces males and females that mate, and the females become next year’s queens. Only the overwintering queens survive in protected sites such as under loose bark, in tree cavities, and in wall voids of buildings. All other colony members produced in the current year will perish.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination