Types of Bees and Wasps In Australia

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Bee and Wasp Pest Control

While many people confuse the two, bees and wasps are very different in appearance and nature. To help you identify these pests correctly, we’ve listed the most common types of bees and wasps in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Maitland and the Hunter Valley.

Bees and wasps can become a major problem for homes and businesses, especially in the springtime. If you see a nest or hive, do not attempt to treat it yourself or you could end up getting stung. Instead, call Rebel Pest Professionals immediately!


Honey Bee

Of all the types of bees and wasps in Australia, the European honey bee is the most commonly found pest.

Appearance and characteristics

The honey bee has furry dark brown legs and body, with yellowish bands around the body. They are round in shape and worker bees grow to about 1.5cm in length. The queen honey bee grows a lot bigger

Lifecycle

Each honey bee colony has one queen bee, which can produce around 2000 eggs per day. The rest are worker bees, who collect food and maintain the colony. Worker bees only live for around 1-10 months, while the queen bee can live for 3-5 years.

Habitat

In the wild, honey bees build hives in hollow trees or branches. In residential areas, they can be found inside roofs, walls, under floors and on the outside of buildings. Honey bee hives are made from wax and are extremely heavy, resulting in structural damage.


Carpenter Bee

Carpenter bees are the largest native bee species.

Appearance and characteristics

Female carpenter bees have a glossy black abdomen and yellow-furred thorax, while the males are covered in yellowish/brown fur all over. They measure around 15-24mm in length.

Lifecycle

So-named for their ability to carve into untreated wood to lay eggs. The life stages of egg – larva – pupa – adult takes approximately seven weeks. Carpenter bees will hibernate during winter and mate the following spring, dying shortly afterwards.

Habitat

While carpenter bees lay their eggs in wood, they do not eat the wood, instead preferring pollen and nectar. Carpenter bees generally don’t create new nests, rather using old nests year after year. The nests can be found in eaves, window trims, fascia boards, siding, decks and outdoor furniture.


European Wasp

This introduced species is very aggressive and will sting multiple times if disturbed. It’s one of the most invasive species worldwide.

Appearance and characteristics

European wasps have black bodies and bright yellow legs and markings. Worker wasps can grow between 1.2-1.7cm in length, while queens can be much larger.

Lifecycle

European wasps mate in Autumn and by winter, the whole colony dies except for the queen, who emerges in the spring to lay eggs. Worker wasps generally live for a few weeks but queens can last for a year.

Habitat

In the wild, European wasps make their nests in the ground, but in buildings they nest inside roof spaces and under eaves.


Native Paper Wasp

There are a number of different species of Australian native paper wasps, some of which get confused with the European wasp due to their similar coloration.

Appearance and characteristics

Native paper wasps come in a range of colours, with the different species having different combinations or black, yellow and reddish brown strips. The black and yellow native paper wasps can be distinguished from the European wasp as they tend to have a more obvious waist and fly with their legs hanging down (European wasps tuck their legs in).

Lifecycle

The queen will create the nest and grow the colony from spring through to late autumn. Towards the end of summer she will lay special eggs that will become fertile females and males. They mate and the successful females become queens, overwintering in a sheltered spot before emerging to start a new nest in spring. Sometimes they will use an old nest.

Habitat

Native paper wasps build nests in sheltered places – the underside of leaves and branches, and under eaves of buildings. Nest can grow up to several hundred individuals.

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