Types of Wasps and Bees Nests

Bees and wasps can be a nuisance.
Bees and wasps can be a nuisance. (Image: Bees hive in creek image by Gail Ranney from Fotolia.com)

Bees and wasps can be a nuisance because they often interfere with outdoor activities. Honey bees are important for pollination, and wasps are beneficial because they feed on insects such as caterpillars, crickets and flies. Nevertheless, no one wants them hanging around their deck or their children’s play areas. Identifying, locating and eliminating their nests are necessary to get rid of these pests.

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Honey Bees

Wild honey bee colonies may make vertical wax honeycomb nests in hollow trees or inside house walls. According to Greensmiths, this can create serious problems when the bees chew through the wall and get inside the home. In addition, because they store large quantities of honey, it attracts more bees and wasps.

Bumble Bees

Bumble bees build wax nests like honey bees in spaces such as building openings and abandoned mice burrows, according to the University of Minnesota. The colony survives for just one year and dies in the fall. New queens leave the nest in late summer to find a place to remain dormant for the winter. In the spring, they look for a new location for nesting, never using an old nest.

Yellow Jackets

The yellow jacket is a type of wasp that usually builds its nest in abandoned rodent burrows or other openings in the ground, according to the University of Minnesota. They also build in shrubs, trees, attics, under eaves or inside wall openings. Yellow jacket nests are made from chewed wood fibers and saliva to form a papery pulp. They are formed in tiers of rounded combs and surrounded by several layers of the pulp.


The giant hornet is a wasp that usually nests in hollow trees and the openings of sheds, barns or houses, particularly those under construction, according to Greensmiths. The nests are made of brittle, papery pulp, like those of the yellow jacket. Bald-faced hornets makes wide multiple combs, as many as four to six, that hang from each other and are covered with several layers of the pulp. They build their nests high in the trees or in low shrubs.

Paper Wasps

Greensmiths indicates that paper wasps will nest under horizontal surfaces such as limbs, eaves, overhangs or support beams of garages, attics, sheds and barns. Paper wasps make papery nests like the yellow jacket and hornet. They are often located near doorways, but do not usually sting. People are usually stung when they enter an area where the wasps are feeding on fallen fruit.


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