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American Butterfly:
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Painted Lady Butterfly
Blue Morpho Butterfly
Clodius Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly
Swallowtail Butterfly
Dogface Butterfly
Tropical Butterfly:
Meridan Butterfly
Postman Butterfly
Sangaris Butterfly
Ulysses Butterfly
Violet Morpho Butterfly
Birdwing Butterfly
Moth:
Emperor Moth
Sunset Moth
Glow-in-the-Dark:
Dragonfly Pairs:
Firefly Light Effect:
Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets, Bees

What are Wasps?
Wasp is the common name applied to most species of hymenopteran insects except bees and ants. Insects known as wasps include the sawflies, the parasitic wasps, and the stinging wasps, which are the best known. About 75,000 species of wasps are known, most of them parasitic. Wasps are highly important to ecosystems. Some wasps like Sawflies consume vegetation and feed on flower nectar and play a role in pollination. Most other wasps are either parasitic or predaceous and therefore play a vital role in limiting the populations of thousands of other insect species. Without these parasites that limit the growth of insect populations, pests would overtake most crops. Known for their keen sense of smell, parasitic wasps don't sting humans and are as small as flying ants. Spider Wasps a common name for any of a family of wasps that hunt spiders to feed their young. These parasitic wasps use other insects to host their larvae which are paralyzed and literally eaten alive. The Tarantula wasps paralyze tarantulas and lay a single egg on the still living spider; when the egg hatches, the wasp larva has fresh food.

Large wasps (up to 2") include European hornets, Baldfaced hornets, Yellow Jackets, Paper wasps and Cicada killers are all in the same insect family, Vespidae and exist in colonies. These wasps construct nests of a paper-like material which is a mixture of finely chewed wood fragments and salivary secretions of the wasps. The term "hornet" is often used to refer to many of the wasps that build large papery nests. The common Paper wasp with its umbrella shaped nest or single comb best demonstrates the basic building pattern of a colony. The most notable paper wasp is the Bald faced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata, and several species of Yellow jackets (Vespula sp.), which are really wasps. Hornet nests may contain thousands of wasps which are extremely aggressive when disturbed.

What are Hornets?
In actuality the only true hornet found in the United States is the European hornet,(Vespa crabro L.). This very aggressive stinging hornet was first reported in North America about 1840 in New York state. Since then, it has spread to most of the eastern United States, reaching as far west as Louisiana and the Dakotas. Unlike most other stinging insects, European hornets also fly at night.
The Giant European hornet can be found in both forests and populated areas. The adults eat other insects and nectar of plants. The larva eat prechewed insects feed to them by the adults.

Another very large aggressive hornet is the Japanese Giant Hornet (espa mandarinia japonica). These champions of the insects have a vicious reputation as they are excellent mothers and fierce protectors. The voracious predator pumps out a dose of venom with an enzyme so strong it can dissolve human tissue and is responsible for many human deaths. Just a handful of Japanese Giant Hornets can kill can kill 40 European honeybees a minute or 30,000 within hours.

What areYellow Jackets?
The European Wasp, also called Yellow Jacket Wasp can attack as a group and may sting many times which is very painful. The Common Yellowjacket (Paravespula vulgaris) (Linnaeus) (commonly called "bees") like all wasps will defend their nests, but the Yellowjackets and hornets are the most aggressive. They can be distinguished from bees by their thin "waists." Bees are thick-waisted. Wasps fold their wings lengthwise when at rest. Like all wasps, yellow jackets prey on a variety of insects and other arthropods. Yellowjackets will also forage on foods that people eat, especially at outdoor gatherings because of their attraction to meats and sweet foods. Stings often occur when people or animals disturb wasps while they are hunting for food or protecting the nest. Yellowjackets may also attack people or animals when unprovoked. Wasp, hornet and yellowjacket stings can be life-threatening to persons who are allergic to the venom, or if a person is stung many times simultaneously. People who develop hives, difficulty breathing or swallowing, wheezing or similar symptoms of allergic reaction should seek medical attention immediately.

Yellowjackets usually construct their nests close to or under the ground but will nest also in railroad ties, wall voids, rock walls or wall of a building and other above ground locations. A single nest may contain up to 15,000 individuals. The female yellow jacket wasp lays both fertilized and unfertilized eggs. Female workers develop from the fertilized egg and male drones develop from the unfertilized egg.

What are European Honey Bees?
European honey bees, genus Apis Mellifera, is one of the largest industries across the globe producing a number of valuable products. Honey bees provide us with honey, royal jelly, beeswax,and propolis. They are very cooperative insects and have good colony structure. They are the prime pollinators of the planet. We know that European honey bees have been producing honey as they do today for at least 100 million years (since the Cretaceous period) Bees produce honey as food stores for the hive during the long months of winter when flowers aren't blooming and therefore little or no nectar is available to them. They produce such an abundance of honey, far more than the hive can eat, that humans can harvest the excess. For this reason, European honey bees can be found in beekeeper's hives around the world!

Honey bees are social insects, with a marked division of labor between the various types of bees in the colony. A typical small hive contains perhaps 20,000 bees and these are divided into three types: Queen, Drone, and Workers. Workers, the smallest bees in the colony, are sexually undeveloped females. A colony can have 50,000 to 60,000 workers. Honey bees' wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.

The European honey bee was introduced into the United States in Colonial America. Honey bees are highly social insects and communicate with each other, relaying direction and distance of nectar and pollen sources. Bees make combs of waxen cells placed side by side that provide spaces to rear young and to store honey. The bee colony lives on the stored honey throughout winters, and therefore, can persist for years

What are Africanized Killer Bees?
Africanized honey bees (also known as "Africanized bees" or "killer bees") are descendants of southern African bees imported to South America in 1956. Introduced into Brazil from southern Africa, it is adapted to longer warm seasons than are northern honey bees. Brazilian scientists were attempting to breed a honey bee better adapted to the tropics. Unfortunately, some of the bees escaped quarantine and began breeding with local Brazilian honey bees. Since 1957, pure African bees and their hybrid offspring, the Africanized honey bee, have vigorously multiplied and extended their range throughout South, Central, and North America at rates frequently exceeding 200 miles per year.

Africanized bees do not store as much honey to take them through the winter as honey bees do. They have smaller colonies and tend to swarm more often. Smaller swarms allow colony development in smaller cavities. Though the africanized killer bees venom is no more potent than that of our native European honey bee, Africanized bees respond in greater numbers and pursue intruders for greater distances. Also, disturbed colonies may remain agitated for as long as 24 hours, attacking perceived threats up to a quarter mile from the hive. Any person or animal in the patrolled area is vulnerable to massive stings.

Next - Previous

Fascinating Insect Facts:
How Many Insect Species Exist?
Insect Orders, Families, and Species
Insects in Terms of Biomass Returns Surprising Results
Common Characteristics of Insects
What is an Entomologist?
What is a Lepidopterist?
What is a Arachnologist?
What are Insects?
What Makes Insects Unique?
How do Insects get Their Scientific Name?
How Many Different Kinds of Insects are There?
What are the Orders of Insects?
A Few Samples of Orders of Insects
What are Some Non-Insect Classes?
What is a Bug?
How Far can Insects Fly?
What is the Insect Longest Migration?
What is the Oldest Insect Fossil?
Did Butterflies Live During the Era of the Dinosaurs?
What was the Biggest Insect Ever?
What Type of Insect has Been on Earth the Longest?
What is the Largest Living Insect?
What is the Largest Insect Egg?
What is a Praying Mantis?
What is a Cockroach?
How do Spiders Differ from Insects?
How can I Collect Spider Specimens?
What is the Largest Spider?
What's the Most Venomous Spider?
What are the Most Deadly Spiders?
Must Spiders Catch Prey with Webs?
How Strong is Spider Silk?
What is the Biggest Spider Web?
What are the Longest Lived Spiders?
Most Dangerous Spider?
What is Arachnophobia?
What is a Scorpion?
What's the Most Dangerous Scorpion?
What is Insect Mimicry?
What is the Biggest Group of Insects?
What are Beetles?
What is a Flea Beetle?
What is a Dung Beetle?
What is a Lady Bug?
What is a Firefly?
How do Fireflies Produce Light?
What Other Real Insects Glow?
How can a Real Butterfly Glow?
Are there Electronic Glowing Insects?
What is the Heaviest Insect?
What is the Strongest Animal?
Which Animal has the Most Legs?
What are Mites?
What is a Tick?
What is a Flea?
What are Lice?
What are Mosquito's?
Most Dangerous Anything?
What are Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets and Bees?
What is a Killer Bee?
What Eats Every Animal in its Path?
What are Ants?
What is a Termite?
How Closely Related are Termites to Ants?
How Large is a Termite Colony?
Which Insect has the Largest Nest?
What is a Grasshopper?

What is a Cicada?
What is the Loudest Insect?
What is the Most Destructive Insect?
What is the Most Common Household Insect Problem?
What is a Dragonfly?
What do Dragonflies Eat?
How can I Tell a Dragonfly from a Damselfly?
How Long do Dragonflies Live?
What Enemies do Dragonflies and Damselflies Have?
How Many Lenses are in a Dragonfly's Eyes?
What is the Biggest Dragonfly and Damselfly?
What is the Smallest Dragonfly?
What is a Nymph?
What is a Caterpillar?
What is a Cocoon?
What is a Butterfly?
What is the Difference Between Butterflies and Moths?
Can Butterflies Fly Great Distances?
What is the World's Largest Butterfly?
What is the Largest Butterfly in USA?
What are the Largest Moths in the World?
What is the Smallest Butterfly?
What is the Smallest Moth?
What is the Smallest Insect?
What is the Smallest Winged Insect?
How Fast can Insects Fly?
How Fast can Insects Flap their Wings?
Which Insects are the Fastest Runners?
How Far can Insects Jump?
How Long can Insects Live?
What is the Shortest Insect Life?
How Much Silk Comes from a Single Silkworm?
What Insects are Made Into Products?
Why are Insects so Important to Agriculture?
Are Insects Ever Used in Medicine?
What are Insects Best Senses?
What are Insects Worst Enemies?
Which Animal has the Most Muscles?
Which Insect can Reproduce the Most Offspring?
What is Fly-Fishing?

 
 
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