We get calls from people saying they have honey bee hives, when really they have yellow jacket or hornet nests. The purpose of this page is to show the difference between the two. There’s also information about bumble bees at the end.
Example of honey bee hives
Honey bees prefer to nest in a hollow tree, a hive box or other man-made structure. They never nest in the ground.
If you see a ball of bees hanging from a tree branch or a bush, or occupying a bench, or any other structure, this is a swarm and they will be in that spot for 24 to 48 hours. Please note that if they’re undisturbed, they are not aggressive! If you have/see a honey bee swarm, please contact us and one of our members might be able to collect it.
Examples of honey bee swarms
Example of honey bees inside of structures
It is possible for honey bees to start a hive inside a siding of a home or other structure. In that case, extracting might be required. Please contact us as we might be able to find a member who do extracting.
Examples of wasp nest
Wasp nests are usually gray and paper-like. They could build their nest in the open (in trees, under picnic tables, etc.) or inside of a structure (garage, shed, attic, etc.). Some yellow jackets nest in the ground. The wasp nest only last for a season. If they are not bothering you, please consider leaving them alone as they are beneficial predators. If they are a danger to you or people around you, you may need to exterminate them. Connecticut Beekeepers Association members do not move or extract wasp nests or do exterminations.
Bumble bees nest underground (abandoned rodent holes, under sheds or in compost heaps). Some will nest above ground, like in thick grass, in bird boxes or in trees. The bumble bee nest only last for a few months. If they are not bothering you, please consider leaving them alone as they are extremely beneficial pollinators. Connecticut Beekeepers Association members do not move bumble bee nests.