Bookmark and Share    

Bee Identification Chart

Honey bees

Honeybees live year round, their size ranging from ½” to ¾”. They can be observed as a giant swarm migrating, or as 5 to 20 buzzing around an eve, chimney, or other structural openings. New honeybee swarms consist of 4,000 to 6,000 bees. An active hive generally has 10,000 to 50,000 bees and 20 to 80 lbs of honey. Respectively, there is no such thing as a small hive.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are ¾” to 1¼” long; yellow and black in appearance. Nests appear to be made of gray or brown papery material. Generally consisting of 5 to 30 wasps per nest, they are often found hanging under the eaves, but can also be found in attics, trees, as well as other structures.

Africanized Honybees

Look the same as the European honeybee, though unnoticeably smaller in size, Africanized honeybees are very aggressive, territorial, and may nest in awkward places. They defend their hive in large numbers, can stay aggressive for days after being disturbed. Africanized bees are extremely aggravated by loud noises, and vibrations. In addition, they are highly provoked by certain smells such as fresh cut grass and bananas.

Bumble Bees

Found living in nests of 15 to 100 in cavities in the ground, under sheds, or other random places usually low to the ground. Bumblebees are seasonal, after summer only the queen survives, starting a new colony in the spring. They defend their hive very aggressively and can sting multiple times.

Yellow Jackets

Often mistaken for honeybees, they are similar in size to a honey bee, but are brighter yellow; they have a rapid, side to side flight pattern prior to landing. Yellowjackets are scavengers eating meats and sweets. They have a stinger without barbs and can sting repeatedly without dying. They are very aggressive, defensive, and are generally found in holes in the ground; though occasionally nest in places similar to honeybees. Seasonally, yellowjacket colony’s reach a size of 4,000 and 5,000 workers and a nest of 10,000 and 15,000 cells in August and early September.

Carpenter Bees

Male carpenter bees are solid black, they also cannot sting. The females are tan in color and sting quite well. Carpenter bees are sometimes mistaken for bumblebees, however carpenter bees are shiny with less hair. There flight is faster than a bumblebee’s, and is also a more jerky flight, very similar to a hummingbird. Carpenter bees are solitary bees burrowing holes the size of a dime or penny into wood patio covers, eaves, and other places. Average size is one inch in length.

Other Types of Bees

Don’t see your bee here? Visit Karen Stricker’s website for additional bee identification.


Bee Removal Estimate