Good Bees vs. Bad Bees: How to Tell the Difference

B&B Exterminating Blog

Stinging insects like bees are a reality every homeowner will need to confront at some point in time. The chief difficulty though is determining if you have helpful, necessary “good” insects like honey bees on your property, or if you have an infestation of “bad” carpenter bees, yellow jackets, hornets or wasps. The good news is you can easily tell the “good bees” from the “bad bees” if you know their distinguishing characteristics. Here’s a quick rundown for you:

“Good Bees”- Honey Bees

Yellow-orange in color, honey bees are pollinators that keep entire plant ecosystems alive and thriving. If possible, a honey bee hive should be professionally removed and relocated to an apiary or bee farm by a professional bee keeper or pest control specialist.

You can easily tell a honey bee from its “bad” cousins from their black and orange or gold bands along the largest part of their abdomen. Honey bees prefer to build their paper and wax hives in trees, walls, attics or any other sheltered location safe from rain and wind.

Honey bees also tend to swarm in the springtime, and up to half the population of a hive can take flight with the old queen to seek to build a new home.

While a massive swarm of bees can appear intimidating, honey bees are actually docile when swarming since they are in search of a new hive and have no home to defend. Check with your local beekeeper to see if they collect swarms, as these massive flights are looking to build a new home and can easily be settled into a bee farms hives.

“Bad Bees” – Carpenter Bees, Bumble Bees, Yellow Jackets

These other stinging insects may resemble harmless bees in certain ways, but they all build vastly different homes and serve different purposes compared to their useful cousins the honey bee.

Carpenter bees are twice as big as honey bees, and they have more black than yellow on their body with rounded abdomen. These are wood chewers that can do structural damage to buildings and homes, so call an exterminator right away to get rid of these pests.

Bumble bees live in grounded nests made of wax dug underground. They are also pests and should be removed by a professional.

Yellow jackets have smooth, glossy bodies and are bright yellow and black. These pests have a painful sting and can be aggressive in defending their next. Call an exterminator and have them removed professionally to avoid injury.

Interested in More Bee Information?

Check out our other blogs on bees:

Ready to get rid of the “Bad” bees?

Do you have a nest of stinging insects on your property? We can tell you if you need to remove or relocate the nest, and we’ll take care of the problem safely and quickly. Contact B&B Exterminating today to set up an appointment for a consultation.