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 many legs does a bee have?

    Q: How many legs does a bee have?

    A: Honeybees and bumblebees both have three pairs of legs, for a total of six, connected to their thorax. Each leg is made up of five segments separated by joints. The closest segment to the body, called the coxa, is followed in descending order by the trochanter, femur, tibia and tarsus.
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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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  • 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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  • 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 is the difference between wasps and hornets?

    Q: What is the difference between wasps and hornets?

    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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  • What attracts wasps?

    Q: What attracts wasps?

    A: In the spring and early summer, wasps are attracted to protein contained in pet food, garbage scraps and exposed compost piles. During the cooler late summer and fall months, wasps seek out sweet foods, such as rotten tree fruits, open soda cans and fruit juices.
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  • What does a queen wasp look like?

    Q: What does a queen wasp look like?

    A: The queen wasp is typically a quarter-inch longer than the other wasps and can be distinguished by its pointed lower abdomen and narrow waist-like section. However, some species of wasps do not have such noticeable characteristics that signify queen status.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Where do wasps live?

    Q: Where do wasps live?

    A: Wasps live all around the world and are found in nearly every country. There are more than 200,000 recognized species of wasps as of 2014.
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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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  • 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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  • How do wasps make their nests?

    Q: How do wasps make their nests?

    A: Wasps build paper nests by using raw wood to create a soft paste for the nest. A wasp queen utilizes her mandibles to scrape wood fiber from logs, fences, garden sheds and other sources of wood. She uses water and her saliva to break down the fibers in her mouth and build a nest with soft paper pulp.
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  • Do bumblebees sting?

    Q: Do bumblebees sting?

    A: Female bumblebees have stingers without barbs and can sting repeatedly whenever they feel threatened or alarmed. Avoid getting stung by remaining still when confronted by a curious bee, and do not swat at it.
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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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  • 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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  • What eats bees?

    Q: What eats bees?

    A: Many animals, such as skunks, badgers, hedgehogs, fox, minks, weasels, bear and mice, eat bees, as do several types of birds and many insects. However, there is no mammal that specifically preys on bees.
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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 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 long can a wasp live without food?

    Q: How long can a wasp live without food?

    A: Typically, wasps go through a life cycle that lasts from spring to fall, and they obtain nectar, rubbish and insects in the area for their food supply. They are not likely to die from starvation during this period but rather will follow their normal cycle of life. Generally, starvation occurs for any wasp that is still alive in the wintertime and takes place in a matter of days.
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