Honeybees are commonly found among flowers and in gardens. They grow to be about ½ inch in length and are golden yellow with darker brown stripes. These bees are the only type of bee known to have colonies that last longer than a decade. Because their swarms can have hundreds or even thousands of bees, some people fear the possibility of being attacked. However, these bees are generally non aggressive unless someone is purposely and violently disturbing them. They swarm in clusters, especially close to the nest. The colony usually creates a honey comb in a cavity of a tree, but colonies have also built homes in rock formations, caves, and every once in a while, within a residence. The honey these bees produce is the honey that we usually find in grocery stores. After a colony has been killed in a building, it is always good to remove the honeycombs from the wall because the honey will rot and produce an odor that will attract more bugs. It is always good to maintain a safe distance from these bees because they are similar to killer bees, especially nests found in the southwestern United States.
Paper wasps, also known as umbrella wasps, are generally one inch in length, but this length can vary from ½ inch to 1½ inches. Most of these wasps have a reddish brown color to them, with some yellow stripes. These wasps produce nests that are “umbrella” shaped, hence their nickname. They produce their nests by mixing dead grass and plant material with saliva, producing honeycombs that look a lot like paper. A paper wasp’s diet includes insects, spiders, and caterpillars. Paper wasp colonies tend to be very small, but sometimes they might produce more than 100 workers. Towards the end of the summer, the colony will produce queens who will then fly out and find a suitable hiding place for the winter. Most nests are hanging from exposed areas. Ideal nesting locations would be under a tree branch, eaves, decks, or in buildings. Sometimes they enter attics and crawlspaces through openings. Removal of the nest after treatment is also necessary.