Five Types of Bees You Truly Want to Stay Away From

Bee stings are stings from a bee, which is a term that can encompass species such as bumblebees, honeybees, and sweat bees. However, it isn’t uncommon for people to use bee sting to refer to wasp stings, which is understandable because it can be rather challenging for non-specialists to distinguish between bees and wasps in the heat of the moment. Regardless, there are some bee and wasp species that are much more dangerous than others, thus making it that much more important for people to call in specialists rather than attempt to handle things on their own.

Africanized Bees

Africanized bees are what are sometimes called killer bees. In short, a biologist bred European honeybees with South African honeybees to create a more productive breed that would be better-suited for tropical conditions. Initially, he kept them in hives fitted with special excluder screens to prevent them from breeding with local honeybee populations, but a visiting beekeeper removed the screens, with the result that a number of swarms were released. Generally speaking, Africanized bees are dangerous for the same reason as their local counterparts but more so. For example, they are likelier to attack, they are likelier to attack in greater numbers, and they will pursue their targets for longer distances, which combine to make them bigger threats.


With that said, people shouldn’t underestimate the honeybee. Granted, it isn’t particularly aggressive. However, it is perfectly possible for people to do something that is perceived as a threat by a honeybee without meaning it, which can cause them to come under attack by an entire swarm of honeybees. Honeybees tend to be painful and unpleasant, but some people have been known to suffer much more worse consequences, particularly if they have been stung many times. On top of this, it should be noted that honeybees have barbed stingers, which is a problem for them in that it will kill them when they try to pull out but also a problem for humans in that it will continue pumping venom for some time unless it is removed as soon as possible.


Technically, hornets are a very specific kind of wasp. However, it has seen use for wasps that aren’t true hornets as well. Regardless, hornets are serious problems because they are big, intimidating social insects that are capable of punching through clothing with their stings. Even worse, hornets are venomous, thus making being stung by them that much more unpleasant. Something that will be particularly true if someone is unfortunate enough to stumble into one of their nests. Generally speaking, the European hornets build their nests in cavities, whereas bald-faced hornets are the ones that build the very recognize gray nests hanging in trees. It is interesting to note that bald-faced hornets are not actually true hornets but rather a particularly large kind of yellow jacket.

Yellow Jackets

Speaking of which, yellow jackets are an entire group of social wasps that can be recognized by their bright yellow markings. They are serious problems for a number of reasons. For example, they are most active during late summer and early fall, which when combined with their fondness for human foods, means that they come into frequent contact with humans. Furthermore, yellow jackets are capable of both biting and stinging, which is why it is common for them to bite their target so that they can have better positioning for their stings. Finally, yellow jackets are just very aggressive when compared to bees.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are not as aggressive as yellow jackets, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t attack if they feel that they are threatened. Moreover, they like to build their nests on trees and shrubs as well as under eaves, attics, and ceilings, meaning that it is very easy for humans to come into contact with them by accident. Like yellow jackets, paper wasps can sting more than once, which is particularly problematic because they tend to come into contact with humans when humans are situated close to their nests, meaning that their alarm pheromones can have a very dramatic and very unpleasant effect to say the least.

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