Currently viewing the category: "Hornets and Yellow Jackets"
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

Subject:  Huge wasp out at night! What is it?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northeastern Pennsylvania
Date: 10/23/2017
Time: 10:50 PM EDT
Hello, For the last two months or so we have been seeing one or two of these massive wasps out at night, hanging around our porch light. Once or twice one has come at me when I am in the back yard with the flashlight. They are at least 1.5 inches long.
I can’t figure out what it is because all of my searches yield people insisting they are giant Asian hornets, which they obviously are not. Can you ID this? Do you know why it is active at night? (My guess is they are hunting the bugs around our porch light, but is that normal?) Are they aggressive?
How you want your letter signed:  Laura Recene

European Hornet

Dear Laura,
This is an introduced European Hornet, and your report is not the first we have received of them being attracted to lights at night.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults come to lights.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Hornet eating strange bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Portland, Oregon
Date: 09/11/2017
Time: 05:27 PM EDT
I was curious what bug is being eaten, I’ve never seen one before.
How you want your letter signed:  Heather lux

Yellow Jacket preys upon Bot Fly

Dear Heather,
The prey in your image is a Rodent Bot Fly, and the predator appears to be a Yellowjacket, a close relative of Hornets.  Adult Yellowjackets prey upon various insects, especially caterpillars, to feed to larvae that are developing in the paper nest they build.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination