Carpenter bees resemble bumble bees, but the upper surface of their abdomen is bare. Carpenter bees bore holes into wood. So late spring early summer you might see the carpenter bee hovering around your house. Male will be aggressive flying near humans but are harmless because they have no stinger. Female carpenter bees can inflict a painful sting but is rare unless you are handling her.
Yellow jackets get their name from their from their yellow and black striped body. These guys can build nest above ground but most of the time the yellow jackets will be found in the ground especially when mowing grass. Yellow jackets aggressively defend their nests and will be most aggressive in late summer.
The Bald face hornet is about 0.7 inch long and is black with whitish markings. builds a distinctive pear-shaped nest covered with grayish paper like material. It usually constructs this nest in a tree or under the eave of a building. Baldfaced hornets are beneficial because they capture other insects and feed them to their larvae. Treatment only recommended if in stinging distance
Several species of Paper wasps occur in Missouri. All are about 1 inch long, slender and variously colors of brown, red and yellow. They build their nest along eaves and other sheltered buildings. Have found many of these wasp using eave entry points to build nest in attics and wall voids. The paper wasp builds a single comb nest. As with other wasp only the queen will survive the winter.
Mud daubers vary in length from 0.5 to 1.25 inches and are very slender with threadlike waists. Mud daubers build tube shaped nest made from mud in sheltered areas. The female wasp stocks the nest with spiders and other insects that she has captured and stung into paralysis. After laying an egg on the prey, she builds a partition to make a small cell. Then she captures another prey, lays another egg.
European hornets in Mo are dark brown with yellow and reddish markings and is about 1.2 inches long. This hornet usually will be found in hollow trees or logs. Will also find itself on homes. The European hornet will go towards light at night. Should only be controlled if near human activity.
The Cicada killer wasp is 1.5 to 2.0 inches long and brownish-black with yellow markings on the abdomen and face. The female digs a burrow in the soil, captures cicadas by stinging and paralyzing them, and then carries them into the burrow. An egg is deposited on each cicada and a cell is closed off. The larvae spend the winter in the nest cell. Cicada killer wasp really cause very little problems other than being annoying and a little messy time to time.
Honey bees are about 0.5 inch long with a fuzzy light brown to black appearance and a brown-and-black-striped abdomen. They are considered to be a extremely beneficial insect going around pollinating our plants and food supply. Can become a pest when trapped in wall cavities of a home. We recommend calling a bee keeper and try to relocate colonies. Honey bees are the only bee that dies after stinging you.
Sweat Bees are attracted to human perspiration and females will sting. The sweat bee builds its nest on bare dirt. So a good defense would be to grow and mulch your property. Sweat bees are not aggressive and pose little threat.