When it comes to the bug world, there are plenty of pests we just can’t stand to be around. Spiders, roaches, ants and flies all drive us crazy, but there are two pests that just about everyone can’t stand: bees and wasps. The likely reason that these pests have such a bad reputation is their ability (and sometimes seemingly, their desire) to sting us if we come to close has cemented their position on the most hated bugs list.
Because of this reputation for stinging and being an overall annoyance, both bees and wasps have developed some interesting myths, some completely unrelated to their stings at all. To help calm your nerves and shed some light on these little creatures, we’ll be diving into some of the more commons misconceptions about bees and wasps and giving you the straight answers.
Myth: Wasps Are More Dangerous than Bees
While many people would consider wasps the more aggressive of the two, this is actually false. Wasps and bees have different temperaments, and their level of aggression is often dependent on how you encounter them. Wasps tend to conceal their nests in spaces that aren’t visible to the naked eye, resulting in unexpected encounters, whereas bees nests tend to be harder to find. However, when one does encounter a nest, they tend to swarm in significantly larger numbers than wasps to defend their nest, making them equally as dangerous.
Wasps Don’t Produce Honey (and all bees do)
While this one may be true in your particular area of the world, it is actually false. There are some species of wasp, particularly the Mexican Honey Wasp, that do produce honey. In fact, according to Reader’s Digest, less than 5% of all bee species make honey.
It’s Safe to Remove a Wasp (or bee) Nest at Night
While this rumor is founded in truth, it is in fact false. The truth is that it is significantly safer to remove a nest at night than during the day, as this is when bees and wasps are less active, but that does not mean its fool proof. Wasps or bees that are disturbed at night still carry the potential to sting you.
Getting Rid of Flowers Will Keep Bees and Wasps Away
Both bees and wasps are considered pollinators, and will travel from flower to flower in search of food. The myth that getting rid of flowers in your yard keeps them away, unfortunately, is far from the truth. Wasps and bees will look for the safest location to build their nests, where they are least likely to be disturbed, if that happens to be an area around your house, whether or not there are flowers in the immediately vicinity won’t make a difference to them.
Wasps Will Chase You
This is actually true. A wasps compound eyes are designed to pin-point movement. They can detect you within six feet of the nest, and at close range, a wasp can accelerate quicker than you; chances are that you’ll be stung. Once a wasp stings you, they mark you with a chemical that helps other wasps detect you more easily, so beware the nests!
If you’re dealing with wasp or bee problems, it is always best to leave removal of nests to professional exterminators to reduce the risk of stings and serious injury.