Wasps in general are recognized by most people. They can clear out a picnic or BBQ pretty quickly and are known to be more aggressive in the stinging insect class. Wasps deliver multiple stings, unlike bees who have one sting in them before they die soon after. Wasps will typically protect their nest and continue to assault the perceived threat until it is neutralized. Like bees, however, people can experience allergic reactions ranging from mild to severe depending on the individual. As a result, when people come across wasps, most understand to avoid the area to avert an attack. There are few wasps that are unorthodox and can surprise you. Mexican Honey Wasps are one of these few species that are not a typical wasp. Today, we at A Five Star Termite and Pest Control would like to share some fundamentals concerning the Mexican honey wasp.
Mexican Honey Wasp Identification
Mexican honey wasps are smaller than a honey bee, ranging in size between 9/32 inches and 23/64 inches in length. They are not very hairy like bees and are nearly all black in color. These wasps are more docile than other wasps and are not very aggressive, preferring to ignore human activity. Only females feature a stinger, though the males and workers share the same coloration; mostly black with bands of yellow on the abdominal area. Queens will typically have a dark reddish-brown abdominal coloration.
What Does a Mexican Honey Wasp Nest Look Like?
These wasps are part of the paper wasp family, so nicknamed because their nests look as though they were constructed from paper, where it is chewed wood and other cellulose matter and saliva. Their nests are generally built in trees and shrubs that are 3 feet – 30 feet above ground level and the diameter ranges in size from 15-20 inches in diameter. These nests are favorably placed in mid-canopy, where they can be protected by foliage. Their nests can hold anywhere from 3,500 to 18,700 members in them. The exterior resembles rough cardboard and can be easy to spot in the suburban setting. Their nests are perennial.
Mexican Honey Wasp Colony Size
Mexican honey wasps prefer the driest of habitats and are found on south counties in Texas, southeastern areas of Arizona, in Mexico, range from Northern Panama through most of subtropical Central America. These wasps are eusocial or highly social insects that include worker and reproductive castes. There are females present with ovaries intermediate in size between workers and multiple queens within one hive. This way, they are able to form large colonies.
What Do Mexican Honey Wasps Eat?
Mexican honey wasps diet includes different insects and nectar, which they use to create honey that they feed to the larvae. These are one of the few insects other than bees that can produce honey but it can be difficult for people to harvest due to the nature of their nests.
Are Mexican Honey Wasps Beneficial Insects?
These wasps are considered beneficial for the pollinating abilities of citrus and avocado trees. Mexican honey wasps will collect and carry the pollen on their legs, abdomen and head. Another benefit to people is their control of other harmful pests.
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Despite being beneficial, most people would prefer not having these intimidating insects so close to their home or business. If you discover a wasp nest too close for comfort, call A Five Star Termite and Pest Control today and our trained experts will remove the nest for you.