Most people have an irrational fear of bees, but their stings aren’t all dangerous. There are some types of bees that sting.
So if you’re going to be out in the garden or you live in an area where bees are common, here’s what you need to know about the different types of bees that sting and how to avoid them.
1. Bumble Bee
Bumblebees are among the types of bees that sting, and they do so when their nest is threatened. The females can be particularly aggressive in defending their territory.
Bumblebees will also attack if you get too close to a nest or hold something the bee considers its food.
If you see one among the types of bees that sting on your arm, it’s best not to swat it away but instead let it crawl off naturally.
It’s only worth getting stung by one bumblebee once, as they have a barbed stinger that leaves the insect unable to fly.
2. Carpenter Bee
Carpenter Bees are large, solitary insects with black or dark brown abdomens. These types of bees that sting measure about one inch long, with females slightly larger than males.
The head is orange-brown with a rounded front edge. Carpenter Bees get their name from their habit of burrowing into the wood to lay eggs.
These types of bees that sting will bore holes into the wood, often weakening it and making it susceptible to splitting or cracking as the bee continues its tunneling activities.
Their tunneling also makes these nests easy for people to spot because they often create a rough surface outside the hole where they have been chewing away at the wood with their mandibles.
3. Honey Bee
There are many types of bees, but the honey bee is one you’ll most likely come across. Honey bees have a barbed stinger, so they can’t sting more than once.
These types of bees that sting can be found in fields, forests, parks, and gardens.
Honeybees are responsible for pollinating plants like almonds, apples, and blueberries. These types of bees that sting also produce honey from the nectar they gather from flowers.
If you’re allergic to bee stings, it’s best to stay away from areas where you might encounter a swarm of honeybees or wear protective clothing when working outdoors in an area with a high concentration of these insects.
Wasps are types of bees that sting humans. Wasps in North America belong to the subfamily Vespinae, which includes yellow jackets, hornets, and bald-faced hornets.
These types of wasps attack by first grabbing their prey with their jaws and then stinging it repeatedly with their stinger before releasing it.
The name wasp applies to solitary wasp species, which live as adults alone but can create colonies when they reproduce. Social wasps live together in a colony comprised mostly or entirely of females.
Now you can confidently choose a beekeeping outfit and stay alert for the types of bees that sting, where they live, and when they might be present.
Of course, bees are important pollinators, but it’s important not to let a fear of being stung prevent you from enjoying these incredible creatures in the wild.
If you’re going out on a hike or nature walk this spring, learn which types of bees that sting to look out for and take precautions to keep yourself safe.
If you’re considering going into beekeeping as a hobby or business, consult an expert before investing in protective equipment so that your knowledge is up-to-date.