Bee Removal Albany, NY◀ Back To Blog
August 21, 2012
A recent article by, Bob Henke, in The Post Star discusses stinging insects. Here in the northeast, we are underway in bee season. Our phones have been ringing with questions like, “how do you get rid of a bees nest?” “I need a nest removed,” along with many others.
During late summer and fall, yellow jacket colonies are nearing maturity and workers are looking for food. With insect prey becoming scarce, yellow jackets are looking for other sources of nutrition. In the spring, a single queen starts a tiny paper nest consisting of only a cell or two. These are generally too small to notice, but as the year progresses and more queens hatch, the size of the colony increases geometrically so it appears as if, virtually overnight, there is a huge nest that may contain as many as 15,000 individuals, states Henke.
When the nest is disturbed, the first to detect it produces an alarm pheromone. When there are only two or three individuals involved, this is not as big an issue, but in August, mowing over a ground nest may dispense this pheromone to several hundred wasps who respond defensively — a much bigger deal.
Here are the ones we might expect to see in the Northeast:
Yellow jackets — These most often nest in the ground or inside a protected area where their bare combs may be constructed. They are yellow and black striped with several species ranging from a half inch to an inch in length. They, like all wasps and hornets, can sting multiple times, i.e., they do not sting once then die like a honeybee. Multiple stings is the normal behavior when provoked.
White-faced hornets — Much larger than yellow jackets, these are the ones responsible for the large round paper nests, often found suspended from tree limbs. Black, with white stripes on the head and body, these hornets have a very powerful venom, but are not as quick to become aggressive as yellow jackets.
Polistes wasps — A slender brown wasp, they make their circular open paper nests behind blinds or under almost any structure that will provide a bit of protection from the weather. They are called paper wasps and while their sting produces an immediate sharp pain, it generally causes a much milder reaction than other wasps and hornets.
Mud dauber — These are shiny blue-black wasps that construct a nest using mud to protect their eggs and larvae. These tubes, sometimes as many as five or six together, are found on the side of houses, usually under an overhang. Adults do not guard the nest and are not at all aggressive.
Sand wasp — there are many species and life cycles that fall under this general category. They are generally thin-waisted, very large insects. Digs a burrow to lay eggs in (eggs are laid on a living insect that has been paralyzed by a sting) but is almost impossible to provoke into stinging.
Living in and around Albany, stinging insects this time of year are a buzzy situation. If you see yellow jackets going "in/out" of an area or a bee/wasp nest on your home or property, contact Thomas Pest Services. Avoid "swatting" or treating on your own, as stinging insects will become more aggressive! Call your professional bee removal specialist serving Albany, Clifton Park, Schenectady, Ballston Spa as well as all of the Capital Region.