top of page


Beekeepers keep HONEY BEES which come from various parts of Europe and Russia.   Honey  bees are about 3/4 of an inch long,  fuzzy and range in color from golden brown with darker bands to nearly solid black.  During the months of May and June colonies of bees that become crowded will swarm, with thousands of bees leaving the hive in a single event, often coming to rest on the branch of a tree.  While the swarm rests, scout bees explore for a more permanent home.  They will look for a large hollow area such as a hollow tree trunk or a wall of a building.





































BUMBLE BEES are typically larger than honey bees, more rounded in appearance, fuzzy, and often are yellow and black in color, although some have patches of orange.  Bumble bees typically nest in leaf litter or in abandoned mouse nests.  They are not aggressive when visiting flowers but can be aggressive if you are seen as a threat to the nest area.




















CARPENTER BEES are large bees that look much like bumble bees.  They can hover in place, then dart rapidly about.  Although they appear aggressive, they seldom sting.  Carpenter bees nest in dry wood, like deck supports and roof rafters, chewing tunnels into the wood..



















LEAFCUTTER BEES are small bees that are typically dark in color with rows of light colored hairs along the sides of their abdomens.  These bees chew off circular pieces of leaves which they use to pack around food and  eggs.  Leafcutter bees nest in holes in posts or below ground.




















MASON BEES are a small dark bee seen most often from April to early summer.  These nest in holes in wood, so may be observed near wood piles.  Mason bees are good early pollinators and are not aggressive.



















PAPER WASPS are typically yellow and black in color with long slender bodies which are smooth instead of fuzzy.  Paper wasps are known for their aggressive behavior, often dive bombing people who they feel are threatening their nest.  Nests are often placed in protected areas such as under building saufets, under the ledge of a deck handrail, etc.  Nests are made from a papery material the wasps make from chewed tree bark or cewed wooden fences.  These can be sprayed in the evening near dark and a spray can that has a 20 foot reach is recommended, since these will act aggressively when their nest is being attached.




















YELLOW JACKETS are about the same size as honey bees, are bright yellow and black in color, and smooth rather than fuzzy.  Yellow jackets are frequently nuisancs at picnics and near trash cans.  Colonies start new each spring and grow in size throughout the summer.  By August the colony size is large, and if disturbed, large numbers of yellowjackets will swarm a victim, stinging feroceously.  Very nasty!  Since these are confused with hoey bees they definitely give bees a bad name.  Yellow jacket nestss can be found underground, under landscape timbers, and occasionally in a sheltered spot above ground.  Nests are made of paper-like material, but can be much much larger than paperwasp nests.  Yellow jackets are a small hornet.  The author of Winnie the Pooh mistakenly uses images of a hornets nest assuming it is a honey bee nest - which it is not.  Honey bees build their comb with wax,, not paper.




















SYRPHID FLIES are often yellow and black and visit flowers.  They have no stinger and are perfectly harmless.


































ROBBER FLIES can also look similar to bees, being more fuzzy than Syrphid flies.  These also are harmless to people.  They prey on other insects.





















BEE FLIES are another fuzzy fly that will visit flowers.  Their long mouthparts give them away.  These are perfectly harmless.



















CLEAR WINGED MOTHS can also look like bees.




Most people think honey bees are yellow and black, but actually their colors range from golden brown to black.

bottom of page