Wasps and bees are often considered dangerous flying insects in Iowa. The truth is, these insects actually provide more benefits than harm for us. If you encounter a bee, wasp, or hornet – Stay calm! When the insects feel threatened, they are more dangerous to you.
Bees often thrive in the spring and summer months when flowering plants are in bloom. They go around collecting pollen and nectar from flowers. Many bee species are active pollinators for the crops and flowers in Iowa. Iowa farmers rely on the bee population to pollinate their crops, which provides Iowans with food each year.
Bees are relatively harmless, unless they feel threatened. They will protect their colony from insects, birds, or human predators by stinging in self-defense. The stings are quite painful, but usually harmless unless the victim is allergic to the bee’s venom. If you are surrounded by bees, do not swat or throw objects at the bees to scare them away. This will only make them feel threatened, and they will be more likely to sting you. Move away from a bee slowly and it should leave you alone.
Flying, winged insects such as yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, and bees are all beneficial because they eat pesky insects in your garden that eat away at your flowers and plants. Hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets typically do not play a huge role in pollination like bees do. Bees have more hair on their body, allowing the pollen to be transported easier. Although these types of insects might look similar, they have some unique qualities that can help you identify them when they are flying around your property.
Overall, it is important to remember that the majority of wasp and hornet species are solitary insects. They spend most of their time hunting for food to feed their young. If you do happen to be stung by a yellow jacket, wasp, or hornet, get away quickly. The pheromone left on your skin will attract others wasps or hornets to you, and could result in multiple hazardous stings.
Hornets live in shelters in hollowed tree trunks made out of chewed tree bark. They typically survive by eating nectar and sugar-rich plant foods. Unlike typical bees, hornets do not die after they sting. They can sting multiple times because their stingers are not barged which allows it to stay attached to their bodies instead of getting stuck in their prey.
A type of social wasp, yellow jackets are beneficial because they eat flies and other annoying, harmful pests. Unlike bees and hornets, yellow jackets are scavengers and often called “carnivores” because they linger around garbage cans and social gatherings in search of meat. They primarily live near the ground, nesting in rodent burrows, under porches, steps, and in sidewalk cracks.
Bees, wasps and hornets provide many benefits for our crops, flowers, and plants in Iowa. The problems arise when these flying creatures decide to make their homes near your home or property. Wasps and bees can pose a dangerous threat to children who might make them feel threatened. Stop worrying about your bee or wasp infestation, and contact Miller Pest & Termite for a free inspection of your Central Iowa property.