Bee Imitators Bee-ware!

If you were to ask your kindergarten niece or nephew to identify the colors of a bee, they would most likely tell you that they are yellow and black.  We often use color as a way of identifying a lot of things in the world, but especially when it comes to identifying insects, this method is not particularly helpful. While it is true that bees are yellow and black, they do not pose nearly the same level of threat that other winged insects with similar coloring patterns do.

Bee imitators are often stinging, so it is best to be cautious when nearby any of them.  The worst part is, many bugs like wasps and hornets, can sting multiple times without any negative physical consequences for them.  One of the reasons that bees are less aggressive than others, is because once they sting you, they die.

There are a few common types of insects to keep on the lookout for:  wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets.  They key to knowing the difference is by understanding what bumble bees and honey bees look like.  Honey bees usually have a darker golden color, as opposed to a bright yellow; and are very small.  Some hornets have a darker hue as well, but are very large in comparison to bees.  The section of the insect that you should be looking at most, is the thorax.  (Insects have three body segments:  the head, thorax, and abdomen.)

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