Month-by-month

Bug Guide

Wondering what type of insect you have at your home? This month-by-month guide can help you find out!

 

January - February

Honeybees are the only species in our region that maintain live nests throughout the winter. They generally stay clustered inside the hive and only come out on warm, sunny days to forage and cleanse. If you see groups of bees emerging from a hole in a wall or a tree, you may have found a honeybee hive!

Paper wasps and yellowjacket queens can be found hovering in houses by windows or lights. They may have been overwintering in nooks and crannies of your house and can become active on warm days.


March-April

Honeybees that have lived through the winter and are beginning to forage regularly for nectar and pollen. If you see dozens of golden brown or black bees emerging from a hole in a wall or a tree, you have found a honeybee hive!

Paper wasps and yellowjacket queens can be found hovering around windows and lights inside homes and sheds as they come out of hibernation and begin foraging for food and nesting sites. Paper wasps often start making nests around the peak of a house, in the eaves of a roof, or in sheds.

Bumblebee queens emerge from hibernation once flowers start to bloom in the spring. They will start taking advantage of warm days to slurp some nectar and look for nesting sites. Bumblebees often start making nests in birdhouses or other small shelters.

Several species of harmless solitary bees become active in the spring. You may see them emerging from small holes in the ground, especially where there is sandy soil.


May

Honeybee colonies are becoming increasingly active. If you see dozens of golden brown or black bees emerging from a hole in a wall or a tree, you have found a honeybee hive. If you see a group of thousands of bees flying through the air or clustered on a tree branch, fence, or the ground, you’ve found a honeybee swarm!

Paper wasps are actively building nests of exposed comb, especially around the peak of a house, eaves of a roof, or in sheds. You may see groups of 10-20 flying around on sunny days when the temperature is above 60 degrees.

Bumblebees are opportunistic nesters, and are busy making nests in birdhouses, compost piles, under porches, in grass clippings, and in wood piles. You may see groups of these fuzzy bees actively pollinating flowering shrubs and gardens.

Yellow hornets are beginning to build nests in trees, birdhouses, or buildings. Yellow hornet nests are grey and globe-shaped. They start out about the size of a chicken egg.

Solitary bees and mason bees can be observed emerging from small holes in the ground, in walls, or from behind shingles.


June

Honeybee colonies are active. If you see dozens or more golden brown or black bees emerging from a hole in a wall or a tree, you have found a honeybee hive. If you see a group of thousands of bees flying through the air or clustered on a tree branch, fence, or the ground, you’ve found a honeybee swarm!

Paper wasps are active, with small, flat nests of exposed, papery comb, especially around the peaks of houses, eaves, or shed roofs.

Yellow hornets and bald-faced hornets are active, with globe-like nests ranging from the size of a chicken egg to the size of a football. Yellow hornets can also be observed entering the soffit area of roofs, where they have nested inside.

Bumblebees have created nests in birdhouses, compost piles, under porches, in grass clippings, and in wood piles. You may see groups of these fuzzy bees actively pollinating flowering shrubs and gardens.

Harmless solitary bees and mason bees can be observed emerging from small holes in the ground or walls, or from behind shingles.


July - October

These months are busy, with lots of bugs around!

If you can see a nest:

  • Paper wasps have flat nests of exposed comb, often on the eaves of house or shed roofs.

  • Yellow hornets and bald-faced hornets have grey, globe-like nests with an entrance hole near the bottom. They can be found in trees, bushes, or house eaves.

  • Mud dauber wasps have small nests that look like mud plastered in the corners of porches and sheds.

If you cannot see a nest:

  • Yellow hornets, honeybees, yellowjackets, and paper wasps can be observed entering and exiting from holes in house eaves.

  • Yellowjackets and honeybees can be observed coming and going from a hole in a house wall or tree/stump.

  • Yellowjackets will also nest in the ground, boxes, sheds, retaining walls, and brush piles.

  • Solitary bees, mason bees, and sand wasps can be observed emerging from small holes in the ground or walls, or from behind shingles.


November - December

Most colonies of yellowjackets, paper wasps, and hornets are dead by this time, having produced queens that will hibernate over the winter and start new colonies in the spring.

Honeybees are the only species in our region that maintain live nests throughout the winter. They generally stay clustered inside the hive and only come out on warm, sunny days to forage. If you see groups of bees emerging from a hole in a wall or a tree, you may have found a honeybee hive!

Paper wasps and yellowjacket queens can be found hovering in houses by windows or lights. They may have been overwintering in nooks and crannies of your house and can become active on warm days.