Select Your Destination
 

< Feature Stories >

Congratulations to the Wellsboro High School Class of 2020!

Commencement to air at 7pm on Home Page & Channel 13

Pool season details to be discussed at council meeting

UPMC Data Show COVID-19 is Increasingly Rare

The Eaton Calendar - June 3

A Message from the Office of the Chairman of UPMC

COVID-19 PA County Testing

Hume Named Senior Vice President

COVID-19 PA County Testing

DCNR Moves to Open State Park Swimming Beaches & Pools

How it Works & When You Should Use It

Pastor Mike recounts the story of an ancient warrior king

Tioga County observes Memorial Day

Community cheers for Class of 2020 car parade in Wellsboro

Spacious, peaceful home atop the hills above Hills Creek

 
 
 

Pollinator’s and Their Defense Mechanisms

What is the difference between bees and those offending hornets?

 

by Melissa Bravo - July 27, 2015

With all the buzz about bees and pollinators, this week’s article is about the other side of bees. The business end so to speak. We’re talking about those darn stingers.

A recent posting on the Tioga County PA Online Garage Sale Facebook page by Briana Winger regarding a questionable looking hive on the underside of a vehicle she wanted to post for sale, resounded in over 100 comments. Comment’s ranged from how to determine if the offending hive in question was a bee hive, or a hornet nest, to all sorts of antidotal- as well as tried and proven, methods on how to remove it.

hive

So, what is the difference between bees and those offending hornets?

Other than the Africanized honeybee which is known to be more aggressive, most bees are generally peaceful foragers. Let’s take the humble bumble bee for example. The Pennsylvania bumble bee (Bombus pensylvanicus) is just one subspecies of more than 250 species in the genus Bombus – a member of the tribe Bombini for those of you who are interested in the phylogenic’s of bee taxonomy. The familiar looking black and yellow striped body covered in fuzzy hair is a common pollinator here in the Northeast. The bumble bee has a long tongue that it uses to lap up nectar from flowers. As it does, pollen sticks to the bee’s legs and this is how many species of flowering plants are pollinated. Unlike honeybees, the bumble bee does not produce enough honey to over winter the entire colony. They also prefer to next in the ground in shaded areas.

It’s not uncommon for a person to literally run into a pollen laden bumble bee. They are slower moving than honeybees and it’s rather difficult for them to change direction, given the aerodynamics of their shape. It’s the brightly colored female queen and her same-sex workers that can sting you. Unlike in honeybees, a bumblebee’s stinger lacks barbs, which is why you can be stung repeatedly before the bee flies off with her stinger still attached to her abdomen.

Hornets, on the other hand, have a different take on things. Wasps and bees make up two distinct lineages of the group Hymenoptera in the superfamily Apoidea. The most common wasps are from the family Vespidae. You know them as yellow jackets and hornets. Unfortunately, there are another one hundred thousand of these stinging horrors out and about in the world. While some are satisfied to collect nectar or dead carrion for their young, most have evolved to use their stinger to paralyze their prey, often for the sole purpose of using their victim as an incubator.

While some of us only have a mild reaction to the toxic venom injected into our skin, many of us, like myself, have an intense allergic reaction which can quickly lead to anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition. A few years ago I literally walked into a nest of white faced hornets on an overgrown honeysuckle laden cow path. Despite a shallow dive into the nearby river which protected me from the rest of the angry mob, I was stung more than a dozen times.

So, swat at a bee if you must, but avoid those white faced hornet’s and yellow striped soda can visitors at all costs.

Credits:

Writing: Melissa Bravo

 

Produced by Vogt Media

< Current Stories >

 

See More Current Stories

 

Congratulations to the Wellsboro High School Class of 2020!

June 5, 2020

 

Cool off this summer safely and soon!

June 5, 2020

 

Commencement to air at 7pm on Home Page & Channel 13

June 5, 2020

 

Pool season details to be discussed at council meeting

June 5, 2020

 

Efforts to Protect Elderly are Working

June 4, 2020

 

Youth ages 5-18 invited to swim safely this summer!

June 4, 2020

 

The Eaton Calendar - Update

June 3, 2020

 

Response affects billions of dollars in resources

June 3, 2020

 

Many across our nation are grieving, and so are we

June 2, 2020

 

72,894 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases for Pennsylvania

June 2, 2020

 

Revisiting Behind the Sparkle: The Gem That Changes Color

June 2, 2020

 

C&N Names Chrissi Hume as Senior Vice President, Director of Treasury Management

June 1, 2020

 

Wellsboro holds virtual athletic awards ceremony

June 1, 2020

 

70,735 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases for Pennsylvani

May 29, 2020

 

Be kind to your mind!

May 29, 2020

 

Effective Saturday, June 6, all 58 state park beaches will be open to swimming

May 28, 2020

 

How it Works & When You Should Use It

May 28, 2020

 

Pastor Mike recounts the story of an ancient warrior king

May 27, 2020

 

Tioga County observes Memorial Day

May 26, 2020

 

Community cheers for Class of 2020 car parade in Wellsboro

May 25, 2020

 

Spacious, peaceful home atop the hills above Hills Creek

May 23, 2020

 

Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force Update

May 22, 2020

 

County Commissioners petition Governor Wolf to open up

May 21, 2020

 

Encourage local students through this special program!

May 21, 2020

 

Welcoming Chiropractor Dr. Sarah Taylor to the Laurel Health Family

May 20, 2020

 

JGM Coach & Benedicts Bus Service rally for awareness

May 18, 2020

 

Local business preview following yellow phase launch

May 15, 2020

 

Census money allocations, resources & signs explained

May 14, 2020

 

Approved Over $98 Million for Local Businesses

May 12, 2020

 

Berndtson selected as one of the first PA teachers to serve

May 12, 2020

 
 

Load More Stories