Bee Nest Identification

Females, also known as worker bees, build nests and hives without the help of the males, or drones. Each nest contains cells where the queen places eggs that develop into adult bees. Bee nest identification can be difficult because the structural design of each nest varies by species.

When bees nest in the ground, they build shallow and simple holes in the soil. Some bees use a single type of branch, while others expand their nests by creating underground mazes using a variety of branches. Leafcutter bee nests are comprised of a line of several cells, which contain dozens of leaves and twigs.

Other bees that are closely related to leafcutter bees create their nests beneath rocks, while bumblebees often convert a bird or mouse’s nest into their wax-based nest. Some aggressive bee species will steal another colony’s nest and capture the workers as their slaves, though these bees may appear more similar to wasps than other bees.

It is important to identify the type of bee nest when planning to remove a colony from an area near your home. Certain species relocate throughout the year, but unless you are certain that a nest has been abandoned, you should not take action. Africanized honey bees, also known as “killer bees,” are extremely aggressive and defensive of their hives, so it is always best to consult a pest control professional about removal and treatment of your infestation.