Getting to Know the New Hampshire Wasps and Bees in Your Backyard

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on May 15, 2023 · 3 mins read

As a homeowner in New Hampshire, it’s common to spot a variety of buzzing insects in your backyard. While some might be friendly pollinators, others can become pests or even pose a threat to you and your family. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the most common wasps and bees you might come across in your yard, and provide tips for identifying them.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are one of the most common types of wasps found in New Hampshire. They have slender bodies that are usually brown or black with yellow markings. You can find their nests in sheltered areas like eaves or attics. If you see a paper wasp flying around your home, don’t panic! They’re generally not aggressive unless provoked.


Yellowjackets are another type of wasp that you might see in your backyard. They’re smaller than paper wasps, but more aggressive. They have black and yellow stripes and tend to nest in the ground. If you see a lot of yellowjacket activity in one area, be careful - they can sting multiple times and their stings are painful.


Bumblebees are large, fuzzy bees that are excellent pollinators. They’re generally harmless and won’t sting unless threatened. Look for their round, fluffy nests in grassy areas or under decks.


Honeybees also play an important role in pollinating plants, but unlike bumblebees, they can be aggressive if their hive is disturbed. Their nests are usually located in hollow trees or walls. If you need to remove a honeybee hive from your property, contact a local beekeeper for safe removal.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees look similar to bumblebees, but they have shiny, hairless abdomens. They’re called “carpenter” bees because they bore into wood to create their nests. While they can cause damage to wooden structures, they’re not aggressive and seldom sting.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are solitary wasps that build nests out of mud. They’re typically black or metallic blue and have long, skinny bodies. They’re not aggressive and usually avoid humans.

Tips for Identifying Wasps and Bees

  • Look at the insect’s body shape, color, and size.
  • Observe its behavior. Is it flying erratically or aggressively?
  • Check where the insect’s nest is located. Different species prefer different locations.

By learning more about the wasps and bees in your backyard, you can coexist with them safely and appreciate their role in the ecosystem. Remember to always approach these creatures with caution and respect.