The most common species of mud dauber in New Jersey is the pipe organ mud dauber, a thread-waisted, solitary, bluish-black insect that builds tube-shaped nests from mud. They typically secure their nest to a wall away from the weather and are often found in the soffit or eaves of ones home. Often referred to as mud wasps because of the tubular shaped nests they build from mud. Mud daubers seldom sting people.
Bumble bees have round yellow and black bodies covered with fine hair. They build nests in cavities in the ground and are generally good neighbors,defending themselves only when actively attacked. They are not aggressive despite the fact that females can sting more than once. You will find bumble bees co-existing with honey bees while they pollinate the flowers in your garden. As you can see form the picture, bumble bees are typically "fatter" and hairier than honey bees.
The most common doppelganger to to the honey bee is the yellow jacket. The yellow jacket are foragers like the honey bee but are much more aggressive and wouldn't think twice about stinging you repeatedly. Yellow Jackets can be found in the ground or, in some cases, inside a house. Because of their similarity to the honey bee, we intentionnaly placed the picture of the yellow jacket just below the honey bee picture to educate you on the difference between the honey bee and yellow jacket.
Honey bees are typically furry (yes furry) as they collect pollen on the hairs of their body. You will often see honey bees pollinating your gardens paying no attention to what you are doing. Most species of bees are valuable pollinators, and honey bees, in particular are an essential partner in the production of food crops for humans.
Honey bees can be found in tree's and sometimes, homes. Honey bees are typically not aggressive and are only threatened if you invade their home or perhaps step on one while walking barefoot through your yard.
These wasps have a long slender, almost dis-jointed body with long wings and legs. They may appear brown or black and yellow depending on the species. Their nest is a single layer open to say but typically protected form the weather. Often found under the eaves/soffitt of your home.
The Bald Faced Hornet has a distinctive black and ivory/white colored body. They are not overly defensive and can have nests quite close to human activity without becoming a nuisance.They are typically not very aggressive unless their nest is irritated. They build a grey spherical paper nest sometimes 12” or more in diameter. Hornet nests can get quite large, even though the nest is abandoned in fall when the colony dies and usually not reused. Fertile female hornets over-winter under tree bark or in other small cavities and start new nests in spring.
Carpenter Bees are a larger version of the bumble. Although they are black and yellow, their most prominent feature is their shiny black abdomens. Carpenter bees are most often seen "hoovering" around their nest waiting to mate or feed on passing insects. Their nests are holes, a little larger than a pencil, are are typically drilled into a picnic table, fascia or any wood structure. Females are defensive and can sting when provoked.
Perhaps the biggest stinging insect featured on this web page is the Cicada Killer. They are black, red and yellow in color and appear very threatening due to their color and large size. Cicada Killers can grow to a length of 2". the males do not sting but the female can will use her stinger to kill cicadas and feed their young. Cicada nests are found in the ground.