Have you ever seen yellow jackets around honey? Do you think they make honey just like bees?
In this article, I will be disclosing if yellow jackets make honey and their importance to humanity.
Do Yellow Jackets Make Honey?
No, Yellow jackets do not make honey.
Although yellow jackets are similar to honey bees — having just slight differences, they do not make honey but feed on them. Are you surprised?
You should not be. Wasps eat almost everything, including plants, meat, fish, pollen and forms of carbohydrates.
The nectar of flowers, sugar, sweet liquids like soda, tea, and juice, and other insects like flies, caterpillars, spiders, beetles, moths, and even honeybees. They are omnivorous insects.
Yellow jackets are beneficial to agriculture but pose a significant threat to humans. Unlike bees, yellow jackets sting even without being provoked. Hence, it is necessary to take caution while dealing with them.
If you notice a wasp nest, immediately call for pest controllers to help exterminate them if you can not do it yourself.
Summer is a very active season for wasps because it is the season they come out in large numbers to search and stock food for the queen against the fall and winter season.
It is the period they disturb your picnics, outdoor dinners, or rest time in the garden. Hence, be observant; check the inside and outside of your house for holes that can attract the wasps and close them.
What purpose do yellow jackets serve?
Yellow jackets can become very bothersome as they can disturb your picnics or outdoor dinner in the garden and even sting you; they could even sting your children when they are playing in the garden. However, they serve as organic pest control in your garden.
During summer, these yellow and black buddies scout for food to stock for the queens in preparation for the winter and fall season.
They feed on beehives and larvae, houseflies, caterpillars, spiders, and other garden pests, making them natural biological controllers of insect pests in gardens.
If you want to use a wasp to control insects, you should find and observe their nests. Then, you use sweet things to draw them far from your living area to avoid the wasps hurting people.
The presence of these wasps will automatically send the insect pests around your garden packing.
What benefit do yellow jackets provide?
They help in pollination. Unlike bees and other insects of family, these social wasps do not have body hairs. However, as they fly from flower to suck nectar, they act as pollination agents, transferring pollen from flower to flower —not as much as bees.
Since they do not have hairs, they carry the pollen inside them, releasing them on other plant surfaces they perch on.
They also help you get rid of garden pests. The social wasps feed on insects such as caterpillars, beetles, and others. When they kill them, they rip their flesh open, after which they eat from it and take the remaining home for the queen and larvae.
Should I kill them?
Killing a yellow jacket is like drawing the battle line between you and your enemies. When you kill or crush a yellow jacket, it releases a chemical called pheromone, which signals other yellow jackets to come in mass for a counterattack.
Usually, when these other wasps come around, they come in large numbers to sting. Unlike bees that sting once, these social wasps sting multiple times at a goal making them very dangerous.
If you see a single wasp inside your house, trying chasing it out of the house without killing it. However, if you notice plenty of them around the house, it shows that a nest is close.
Instead of killing the wasps one by one, you can kill them by attacking their nest with chemicals or calling the exterminators.
The best time to attack a wasps nest is early in the morning or dusk when the wasps cannot see. So, if you want to raid the nest on your own, ensure to wear thick and pale colored clothes — if possible red color clothing — avoid wearing perfumes, cover your eyes, legs, hands, and head.
Do yellow jackets kill honey bees?
They do not only kill bees, but it destroys their hives too. Wasps can sense beehives with a weak defense system. Once they notice a weak beehive, they attack the nest by hovering around the entrance, gradually killing the bees one by one.
When they attack the frail bees, they kill them and collect the larvae, beebread, pollen, and honey. However, a healthy and well-secured beehive can stand the yellow jackets.
Yellow jackets and honey bees are not friends, but they cooperate during summer when searching for food. Asides from that, the wasps tend to terrorize the bees. Hence, they pose as threats to weak bees.
Do yellow jackets eat nectar?
Yellow jackets are so in love with anything sweet, and that is why they are always after your juice or teacups, soda cans, food, meat, tree sap, fish, honey, fruits, and even nectar of flowers. The main foods of wasps are carbohydrates and proteins gotten from other insects they eat.
However, adult wasps love to eat the nectar of flowers while they take the protein foods like insects, fish, and meat back to the nest for the larvae and queen.
As yellow jackets feed on the nectar of flowers, they transfer pollen grains, thereby aiding pollination. Hence, we cannot ignore the importance of these social wasps to agriculture.
Wasps do not make honey, but they feed on it and pose a significant threat to beehives; bees are the only insects that produce honey in the world. Yellow jackets are beneficial to Agriculturists, help in pollinating plants, and controlling garden pests.
However, we can not ignore their negative effect on humans. Their sting is painful and could lead to allergic reactions. Do not hesitate to tackle a wasp nest if you notice any activity around you, and if you are getting rid of them yourself, ensure to cover yourself properly.