Bees are the one insect that human beings rely the most on for survival, due to the fact that they pollinate our food crops, allowing us to grow fruits and vegetables for consumption. Wasps/hornets are also beneficial insects, since they prey on smaller pest insects, such as spiders. Bees and wasps can, however, become a pest themselves when they sting humans. Their stings are venomous and very painful, and some people may even have a severe allergic reaction to bee or wasp stings. In general, bees and wasps do not sting unless they are disturbed. Unfortunately, when their nests are located near human dwellings, they are easily disturbed, and this is when they become pests.
Types of bees
Solitary bees are usually small, with the exception of the carpenter bee that is known for boring holes into dead wood. Carpenter bees are dark in colour, usually black with a yellow band on the thorax, and their stings are extremely painful.
Social bees, known as honeybees always live in colonies, consisting of worker bees and a queen. Most honeybees are small in size (with the exception of the giant honeybee) and not very aggressive, seldom stinging unless disturbed. Honeybees build large hives that are attached to trees and buildings. If these hives are disturbed, the bees will attack, which can be very dangerous.
The female of this species builds mud nests on surfaces such as walls within which they lay their eggs. These wasps prey on smaller insects, which they sting, paralyse and carry to their nests for their young to feed on. A solitary wasps’ sting is quite severe and painful, luckily they do not sting unless they are very badly provoked, and they never sting multiple times, making them less dangerous than social wasps.
This wasp is known for being very aggressive, and they will defend their nests at all costs, attacking when the nest is merely approached. Multiple stings from larger wasps such as hornets are very dangerous and victims that have been stung need to be hospitalised as soon as possible, since people have been known to die from these stings if left untreated.
There are smaller social wasps that are just as aggressive as their larger counterparts. These wasps will usually nest in bushes, but will readily enter human dwellings, since they are attracted to light. Although they sting, each individual wasp will rarely sting more than once.
Bees and wasps only pose as threat to humans when their nests are built near human dwellings. If you have a bee hive or wasp nest near your premises, it is advisable to contact a professional to come and safely remove it. Because these insects are so dangerous, bee hives or wasp nest should never be removed by anyone other than a pest control professional.
It is also advisable to only spray insecticide at night when bees and wasps are inactive and have returned to their hives or nests.
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