Honey Bee Identification Guide


Buda Bee Wrangler specifically deals with the removal and relocation of Honey Bees, including Africanized Honey Bees. Though we love all insects and animals alike, we only specialize in honey bees, and are very familiar with their behavior and what is needed to make their relocation successful. If you have an infestation of another species of bee or wasp, feel free to contact us anyway. We may be able to help point you in the right direction if you are looking for someone to remove them without killing them. After all, they were here before us!

Honey Bees


Honey bees are yellow and black/brown, and are hairy/fuzzy. Honey bees generally will choose a cavity, whether in a tree or on your walls or soffit, to build their combs. Honey bees are generally more rounded in appearance than wasps. It is not uncommon to see 'open-air' combs that are not in a cavity. They store their food, honey, in capped cells of their combs. Honey Bees' combs are flattened out and about 2-3 inches thich, with room on either side of the comb for bees to fit between so they can do their work. This is different from the way yellow jackets and red wasps build their nests.

It is less common to have multiple honey bee colonies build in close proximity to each other, though it does happen. We have removed two full colonies at times from one location. Wasps on the other hand, can have nests all over the place if they like the area.

Africanized/Killer Bees


Killer bees are honey bees, yet are much more aggressive than the western bee, and produce much more offspring. They are a bit smaller than western honey bees, but the easiest way to know if they are Africanized is by their level of aggression. Just walking by one of their colonies can set them off, and they will send many bees to attack. Honey bees die after successfully stinging something, but killers aren't as worried about that fact. Their colonies are so large, a few hundred bees are easily expendable for the protection of their hive.

Most feral bees in Texas have a percentage of killer in them, and they are called hybrids. They share traits of both western honey bees, and Africanized. Africanized bees ar emuch more resilient to drought and heat, and thrive well in Texas. They are more common the farther south you go.

Bumble Bees


Bumble bees generally are more black than honey bees, and are fatter and hairier. Their colonies are mush smaller than honey bees, and generally do not cause a problem for homeowners and business owners.

A species of bumble bee was recently put on the endangered species list. You can read about this HERE. This is a shame. We certainly hope bumble bees will be around for many generations to come.

Carpenter Bees


There is really no mistaking a carpenter bee from a honey bee. They are all black!

Yellow Jackets & Red Wasps


Yellow jackets and red wasps are hairless, and are more angular and slender in appearance than honey bees. Their nests are generally smaller than honey bee hives, since people tend to take care of them quicker. Wasps are more likely to make 'open-air' nests, though it is not uncommon to have them inside a wall or structure. Most wasps do not produce honey, though some do.

Mexican Honey Wasps


Mexican Honey Wasps do produce honey, though a much smaller amount than honey bees. They are becoming more and more common in the San Antonio area, and look sort of like a tiny version of a honey bee to the untrained eye. The thing that makes them stick out very easily is the way they build their nests. They make big nests that look like a paper basketball, and are generally in trees. The branches of the tree will weave in and out of the nest, adding support. The wasps themselves are small, black with faint yellow striping, and hairless.

Texas A&M have a great article on Mexican Honey Wasps HERE. They are fascinating creatures, and are currently the subject of much research.


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