How to Identify Bee & Wasp Nests

Updated April 17, 2017

Bees and wasps cause problems when they nest close to people, particularly in warmer months of the year when they are most active. Most bees and wasps are social insects that prefer to create nests in groups, although there are solitary hunting bees and wasps that live alone. Identifying nests is not that difficult due to the fact that bees and wasps are some of the only insects that make nests above the ground.

Look for bee nests in hollowed-out trees, rotted logs, abandoned rodent burrows, holes in walls, chimneys and attics.

Identify a bees' nest based on its waxy appearance, as bees make nests out of wax that they produce themselves. Look for a honeycomb shape with tiny openings where the bees live.

Look for nests in areas where you find multiple bees flying or swarming. They will often be found in close proximity to their nest. Identify bees based upon their fuzzy appearance.

Look for wasp nests under eaves in houses and buildings, in holes in walls, in windows, in trees and shrubs, and underground.

Identify a wasps' nest based on its papery appearance. Wasps make nests out of wood and paper that they collect from trees and garbage. The nests might be enveloped, meaning that you cannot see the interior holes.

Look for wasps in the area, particularly in swarms. Wasps are similar in colour to bees but are not fuzzy and have slightly more elongated bodies.

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