How to Identify the Most Common Bees And Wasps

Now that summer is coming, the bees and wasps are starting to make their appearance. It is important to know more about the most common types in Washington. Here are the 2 most common bees and the two most common wasps in our state.



Bees go from flower to flower feeding on pollen and nectar and ensuring the pollination of flowering plants. Their bodies are different to wasps in the way that they are more strong and fuzzy.

1. Honey Bees

Honey bees live in colonies that are usually found in the crevices of large trees, building walls or other protected areas. They can sting and will aggressively defend their colony. However, when they do sting, they die, so they are pretty picky when it comes to stinging. The body of the honey bee is broken up into segments: the stinger, legs, three segments of thorax and six visible segments of the abdomen. Most of the time the honey bees’ color will be black stripes alternating with amber stripes.

2. Bumble bees

Unlike honey bees, bumble bees establish new colonies ever spring. They also build their nests in abandoned mice burrows, small cavities in building walls or other similar spaces. If a bumble bee is severely provoked, it will sting. Unlike honey bees, it can sting repeatedly without dying. A bumble bee’s body is large, fuzzy and round and is covered in hair or fur. They typically have black and yellow alternating stripes.


Unlike bees, wasps have slender bodies with a narrow waist. They also look smooth and shiny from afar. Their feeding habits are no way similar to that of bees. Wasps usually eat insects like caterpillars, flies, crickets and other pests, however, they also like human food and garbage. Wasps are the type of bees you are most likely to be annoyed with at picnics.

1. Yellow jackets

Many yellow jackets like to hide their nests below ground in old rodent burrows, behind exterior buildings walls, in hollows of children’s playground equipment or other similar places. All kinds of wasps, including yellow jackets, can sting repeatedly and will if threatened or protecting their nest. A yellow jacket’s appearance can be described as a small body with black and yellow body segments.

2. Paper wasps

Some popular spots for paper wasps to build nests include on tree limbs, building overhangs, and beams and supports in attics of garages, barns and sheds. If you have ever seen a nest of a paper wasp, you might describe the appearance to be somewhat of an umbrella shape consisting of a single comb with open cells. A paper wasp’s appearance can be described as a narrow-waisted wasp with black wings. They are usually brown with yellow markings on their head, thorax and bands on the abdomen.


If you are spotting any bee or wasps nests around your home, give Insight Pest Solutions a call today for the best pest control Seattle has to offer.

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