Stinging Insects

STINGING INSECTS: Bees, Hornets, Wasps, Cicada Killers, OH MY!

Bees, hornets, and wasps are for the most part a very beneficial group of insects, being the major pollinators of flowering plants, helping to reduce the numbers of many insect pest species, etc. However, of the 54 reported deaths each year from arthropod bites or stings, bees, hornets, and wasps account for about 30 percent. Bees, hornets, and wasps are categorized as being either solitary or social. Solitary species are those whose members live independently of each other. Social species are those who live together in colonies or nests and which have an adult division of labor or caste system composed of workers, queen(s) and, periodically, males.

The more common solitary groups include the carpenter bees, cicada killers, digger wasps, mud daubers, potter and mason wasps, spider wasps, and velvet ants. The more common social groups include the bumble bees, honey bees, hornets, paper wasps, and yellowjackets.




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