Wasp nest vs bee nest, hornet nest and bumblebee nest

It is often tricky for laypeople to distinguish wasps from similar-looking, state-forming flying insects such as hornets, bees or bumblebees. However, species identification is essential for nature conservation and the creation of a treatment concept. We will show you how you can distinguish wasp nests from other nests.

Wasps (nest) discovered?

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Recognise wasps and wasp nests

American wasps
 and common wasps have a black and yellow body, which has a signalling and alarming effect on its environment thanks to the striped pattern. Above all, it is intended to signal predators against the ability to defend themselves. The size of the wasps is usually between 11 and 14 mm (queen: up to 20 mm). The “wasp waist” between the thorax and abdomen is a very characteristic feature.

America and common wasps are so-called “dark cave nests”, which means that they primarily prefer dark, protected places to build their nests. Therefore, popular locations are in roller shutter boxes, in the area of ​​attics, barns, carports, or the ground. The material of the wasp nests turns into paper from gnawed wood and saliva. The construction of the nest depends on the species and the building materials used – the colour of the report depends on the trees and shrubs used.

Wasps are under nature protection, so wasp nests may only be removed in exceptional cases with good reason. These include, for example, allergy sufferers or children and animals that could be threatened by the wasps. AAA Termites and Pest Control will be happy to advise you on how far you can remove the wasp nest.


Particular case: earth wasps

Walking barefoot across your flower meadow can be dangerous. That is when earth wasps or earth bees have quartered themselves in your refuge with an underground nest. Have you discovered an earth wasp nest in the garden? Most earth wasps are often actually the genera of the
American wasp or the common wasp. In contrast to the earth bee nest or wild bee nest, the earth wasp nest usually only has one large main entrance. Wild bees, on the other hand, typically fly to several holes in the ground. Earth wasps can be very aggressive if you get too close to the earth wasp nest.

Do not hesitate and call the AAA Termites and Pest Control pest experts free of charge on +330 723-2515. We will help you both with the identification of the species and with any necessary elimination.

Recognise bees and bee nests

Bees, and especially honey bees, differ from wasps in their size and colour. Bees tend to be inconspicuous. Honey bees have a yellow-black ringed abdomen. They are densely hairy and have collecting devices on their hind legs that are used to collect pollen. The flight of bees seems relatively leisurely compared to that of wasps. Bees reach a body length of approx. 9-14 mm. In contrast to the protein-eating wasps, bees are pure vegetarians and feed exclusively on nectar and pollen from various flowering plants.

Bees usually build their nests in protected, well-hidden cavities in trees or chambers under the ground. A bee nest usually consists of vertical honeycomb panels made of wax. The honeycombs consist of hexagonal cells in which the young bees are raised, and honey and pollen are stored.

Bees and bee nests are specially protected and are subject to species protection. Therefore, resettlements or even combats may only be carried out in justified exceptional cases (emergencies, threatening situations) with the appropriate exception permit.

Recognise hornets and hornet nests

Hornets are among the most prominent native wasp species and can reach a body length of up to 3.5 cm. The black and yellow body drawing of hornets signals readiness to fight; in contrast to wasps, the head, legs and upper body sections also have a red component. The middle area of the hornet’s body has no yellow colour.

A hornet’s nest is mainly found in trees, attics or cavities in masonry or roller shutter boxes. Like a wasp’s nest, a hornet’s nest consists of a paper-like mass that hornets build from chewed wood. With populations of only 400-700 animals, hornet nests are significantly smaller than wasp nests and have a characteristic opening at the bottom from which the hornets drop their droppings. There are, therefore, accumulations of excrement under the nests. A hornet’s nest is brownish in contrast to a rather grey wasp’s nest.

According to the Federal Species Protection Ordinance (BArtSchV), hornets are among the particularly protected species.

Recognise bumblebees and bumblebees nests

Bumblebees are a type of bee and are particularly noticeable for their plump-looking, large and round physique. In addition, bumblebees are hairy like bees and look downright furry. The colour of the bumblebees varies depending on the species but is usually rich in contrast from yellow, white, to black. The length of the bumblebees averages about 10-13 mm. Bumblebees can sting.

A bumblebee nest consists of populations of 50 to 600 animals, depending on the species. Mostly hollow tree trunks and underground places such as holes in the ground are preferred for building nests. In most cases, bumblebee nests are only used once and then abandoned.

America, bumblebees, hornets and wild bees are strictly protected by the Federal Species Protection Ordinance (BArtSchV) and the Federal Nature Conservation Act.

Learn about stinging insects and biting insects.