Getting to Know North Carolina Wasps and Bees

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on May 19, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in North Carolina, chances are you’ve encountered a few wasps or bees in your backyard. While these insects can be beneficial for pollination and pest control, they can also be a nuisance and even dangerous if you get stung. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the most common wasps and bees you might see in North Carolina.

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 you’ll see in North Carolina. These insects are brown with yellow markings and can grow up to an inch long. They build nests out of paper-like material and are known for their painful stings. If you have a paper wasp nest on your property, it’s best to call in a professional to remove it.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are another type of wasp commonly found in North Carolina. These insects are black with yellow markings and are often confused with bees. Unlike bees, however, yellow jackets are aggressive and can sting multiple times. They build nests in the ground or in trees and bushes.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are a type of bee that resembles bumblebees but have shiny, hairless abdomens. They are often seen hovering near wooden structures because they like to bore holes into wood to build their nests. While carpenter bees are not typically aggressive, they can cause damage to wooden structures over time.

Honey Bees

Honey bees are perhaps the most well-known type of bee. These insects are small and fuzzy with black and yellow stripes. They are important for pollination and honey production, but unfortunately, their populations have been declining in recent years. If you spot a swarm of honey bees on your property, it’s best to contact a local beekeeper to safely remove them.


Bumblebees are similar in appearance to honey bees but are larger and fuzzier. They are important pollinators and can often be seen buzzing around flowers in your garden. Unlike honey bees, bumblebees do not produce honey and do not live in large colonies. They are generally not aggressive unless provoked.


Now that you know a bit more about the wasps and bees you might see in your North Carolina backyard, you’ll be better equipped to identify them and understand their behavior. Remember, if you have a wasp or bee infestation on your property, it’s best to call in a professional to safely remove the insects.