Stinging Insects

A:

The main difference between wasps and hornets is that wasp colonies tend to be smaller, with fewer than 100 individuals, while hornet colonies typically have many more. It is often difficult to tell the difference between these hairless, thin-bodied, bee-like insects visually.

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  • How long do hornets live?

    Q: How long do hornets live?

    A: The average lifespan of hornets in the wild is several months. The average length of a hornet is 1.25 inches. Hornets are classified as insects and are omnivorous. A group of hornets is referred to as a grist or hive.
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  • What animals eat bees?

    Q: What animals eat bees?

    A: According to the San Diego Zoo, one animal that eats bees is the bee-eater bird. These birds live in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and New Guinea and enjoy eating both bees and wasps. A bee-eater beats the bee against a tree branch to remove the sting before eating its prey.
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  • Do bees hibernate?

    Q: Do bees hibernate?

    A: Some species of bees do hibernate, while other species of bees employ alternative methods of survival. Different bees display different types of behavior during the winter months.
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  • Do wasps die in the winter?

    Q: Do wasps die in the winter?

    A: Most wasps die in the winter due to starvation, not the cold, as was previously thought. Some can survive if food can be found outside the nest.
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  • How do bees communicate?

    Q: How do bees communicate?

    A: Honeybees communicate via chemical signals known as pheromones and through a movement-based communication known as dancing. Their pheromone communication serves to cement the position of the queen, to suppress egg laying by workers, to attract mates and to keep group cohesion while swarming. Dancing is performed by foraging worker bees to inform other bees in the hive about food they have located.
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  • Where do bees live?

    Q: Where do bees live?

    A: Bees prefer to live near wildflowers and will build their nests in old wood and in areas that are sheltered from the elements. They will stay clear of areas where insecticides are present. Because the natural habits favored by bees are becoming less abundant, some farmers and gardeners set up places that are hospitable to bees so to attract them to their property.
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  • What is candle wax made from?

    Q: What is candle wax made from?

    A: Throughout history, candle wax has been made from several different materials, but most modern forms are made from beeswax, paraffin, vegetable wax and gels. The earliest known candles are from ancient Egyptian and Greek culture and were made from tallow extracted from sheep and cows.
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  • What plants attract bees?

    Q: What plants attract bees?

    A: Flowering plants that provide nectar, pollen or both attract bees, according to the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab. Bees prefer a single plant type in large patches of at least 10 square feet, since this allows bees to remain in one area for a longer period of foraging.
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  • Why is it important that honey bees are dying?

    Q: Why is it important that honey bees are dying?

    A: Honey bees do much more than make honey, and many crops throughout the world depend on their pollination. In fact, the USDA estimates that honey bees add over $15 billion to the value of crops in the USA. That kind of natural "service" can't be replicated, which is why it's important that honey bee populations are disappearing.
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  • Do mud daubers sting?

    Q: Do mud daubers sting?

    A: Mud daubers do have the capacity to sting. However, mud dauber stings are unlikely and rare because they are not an aggressive species of wasp. They typically only sting if mishandled.
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  • What is the life span of a bumble bee?

    Q: What is the life span of a bumble bee?

    A: The lifespan of a bumble bee is only a few months, although queens are able to survive for up to a year. Bumble bees are unable to survive cold winter weather, and the stress of their work quickly takes a toll.
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  • Do wasps die after they sting you?

    Q: Do wasps die after they sting you?

    A: Wasps do not die when they sting. Wasps have barbs on their stingers that can be retracted, allowing them to safely remove the stinger without injuring themselves.
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  • How do I get rid of a beehive?

    Q: How do I get rid of a beehive?

    A: To remove a beehive, it is necessary to apply a pesticide or soapy water to the nest. In some cases, honey bees can be removed by a professional beekeeper free of charge. Removal may require several treatments with soapy water or pesticide to ensure the bees do not pose a threat during removal.
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  • Where do bumblebees nest?

    Q: Where do bumblebees nest?

    A: Bumblebee nests can be found in many different places depending on the species. Most prefer dark and dry cavities underground, while some bumblebees make their nests in cavities above ground.
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  • What is a baby bee called?

    Q: What is a baby bee called?

    A: The scientific name for a baby bee is "larvae." Larvae hatch from the eggs that are laid by the queen within the honeycombs of the bee hive. Once a larvae emerges from its egg, it is fed a nutritious substance called royal jelly.
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  • What do honey bees eat?

    Q: What do honey bees eat?

    A: Worker honey bees eat nectar and pollen from flowers, while larvae eat honey, and queens eat royal jelly. Honey is created from nectar when a worker bee holds the nectar on its tongue until the moisture evaporates.
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  • Can bees see color?

    Q: Can bees see color?

    A: Bees can see most colors aside from red. Bees sense wavelengths of light between 300 and 650 nanometers, allowing them to see in the ultraviolet spectrum. A human's vision, by comparison, detects wavelengths of light between 390 and 750 nanometers.
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  • How many eyes does a bee have?

    Q: How many eyes does a bee have?

    A: A bee has five eyes. It has two huge compound eyes and three simple eyes. The simple eyes are called ocelli. Each compound eye is made up 150 tiny structures called ommatidia. These structures let the bee see not only patterns but polarized light.
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  • What are Italian honey bees?

    Q: What are Italian honey bees?

    A: Italian honeybees are a common species that bee keepers keep around to produce honey. They are believed to hail from Italy and northern Sicily. Italian bees are gentle in nature and are not prone to swarming.
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  • What is a group of bees called?

    Q: What is a group of bees called?

    A: A group of bees is most commonly called a "swarm." According to the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, a swarm is also known as a "hive" or a "grist of bees." Swarms assemble in a colony, numbering as high as 35,000 bees in the summer.
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  • How much does a bee weigh?

    Q: How much does a bee weigh?

    A: Bees weigh approximately one tenth of a gram. Worker bees can carry up to one half of their weight. A bee's maximum flight range is approximately 5 kilometers, or about 3 miles, but most bees gather nectar closer to the hive.
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