World's Largest Yellow Jacket Bee

OK so I’m sitting at my desk today trying to figure out somehow to get some interviews and get a web deisgn job. If only something would just show itself and I would recognize it as my big opportunity and take advantage of it.

So then while working at my desk in the basement rewriting my resume I hear this loud buzzing flying around me in the dark. With only a desk lamp on I turn on more lights to see what it is. Almost sounded like a hummingbird but more like a bee flying around. When I turned the light on this is what I saw:

Click for larger images of these giant bees

Giant Bee Giant Bee

I captured him in a cd spindle cover so to scale this bee he looks to be about one third the size of a CD. That’s a big ass yellow jacket bee.

Hey btw if anyone is looking for a good web designer please contact me.

182 thoughts on “World's Largest Yellow Jacket Bee

    • I have also seen these “bees”, I can say they are definitely not Cicada killers, way more yellow and black bands on them and they are much bigger. People have tried to tell me they are Carpenter bees, but they are not fuzzy. They seem non aggressive though. I had a friend who had one that hovered constantly just outside of his front door, it was kinda neat how it would move to the side to let you pass and then move back into place. The ones I have seen are around 2″ or so in length. Would love to know what these monster bees are. If anyone finds out please let us all know!

      • hey michelle what are they really? they saturate the ground in front of my gf house, in front of the door/entrance during the day in the summer time. lots of holes in the ground. you see them crawl out.
        weird watching a wasp that large w/ four wings to carry itself surface in her front yard when you’ve never seen one. any more info would be nice. they’re not mean i actually stood on one and i knew it. felt like a small earth quake under my foot. let him go and it didn’t retaliate
        l8er, levi

        I see these Wasp/Hornets all the time and have searched and searched to find out what they are, my grandfather called them rushian hornets when I was a kid, and the above link along with my latest sighting of the creature have convinced me. The other day I witnessed one of these when it attacked a Cicada or what I have always called a Cadydid. It grabbed the Cicada in mid air and they hit the driveway and I watched as the wasp stung the Cicada multiple times. I didn’t know until I found this article that the Cicada was only parilyzed. I would not want to get stung by one of these as I am alergic to most bee stings and at best would be very painful. Hope this helps….

      • I have seen MANY of these bees during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. They look EXACTLY like the pictures that Ken Savage posted! They seem to nest somewhere in (or underneath) my Lilac bush. So Far they’ve been more annoying than anything, but seemingly pretty hard to kill. The bees around my house in southwestern Virginia are a lot like what you’ve described, but the yellow stripes or coloring on them seem like a dark, almost orange color. We first noticed them a little more than a year ago, and so far no one has been stung by them. I’ve noticed that they seem to hover more quickly when someone gets too close to the the Lilac bush, and they love to buzz around the porch light at night. Other than that, and dang-near needing a brick to smash one, so far they seem harmless…let’s hope it stays that way! I would REALLY like to know what they are also. I’ve looked almost everywhere on the web, but couldn’t find anything.

        • That is wild…
          That is where they appear to be nesting in my yard, and my neighbor`s yard, Lilac bushes…
          I say appear because I have never actually seen them climb in or out of anywhere, but they just are crawling up and down the shoots of the bush, pulling the bark off in certain areas…
          When we turn the lights on in the back yard at night, they swarm around them…
          Years ago while back-packing, my nephew and I witnessed the same thing Jerry (Wade) Mcguire did, but three of these hornets were attacking a Cicada, we caught one and dissected it… They have 6 very large what appeared to be poison sacks connected together like a string of pearls…
          Anyway, they must be attracted to Lilacs!

    • Hey Hey Hey you have found a Yard Wasp.Big and scary,but i have never heard of an open attack.They are loners.I have only seen them in west texas.they are kin to the Tarantula Killer which is as large andhas a deep dark blue body almost black in appearance with yellow wings. Dont aggrivate either from my experience they are more scary than harmful.

  1. Hello, I’ve seen 2 of those bees in Pa. and have been wondering where they’re coming from and how they got to be that size. I did a search on the world’s largest bees and these bees are larger than the world’s largest.

  2. I found a stray cat I take care of toying with one of these just yesterday and it scared the frigg out of me… was HUGE !!!!
    What the heck are they (not so sure its a wasp as mentioned above) and where are they coming from ??
    I live in upstate NY and have never seen one of them in my life before and I swear mine was bigger than the one pictured above.

  3. I killed a huge bee yesterday in New Jersey! It’s the biggest bee I’ve ever seen! I actually thought it was a mutant yellow jack bee because it has black and yellow stripes on the bottom. It’s even bigger than the one in the picture. I sprayed it with Raid until it died and then left it on the window sill for others to see! They are amazed. My husband now has it in a honey jar and we’re trying to figure out what type of bee it is and where it came from. Sure enough, another one came flying into our warehouse yesterday which he killed. It too is a big one!
    What’s going on with these bees? I hope there isn’t a nest of them nearby threatening to get us!

    • It may have killed you , if it stung you and you were alergic. i don’t know how the venom would effect kids, but i don’t think it would be too good. I think they call them killers, because they go to other smaller yellow jacket nests and bite their heads off and take them back to their nest to feed the young

    • That sounds exactly like the one I seen in my back yard and it scared the baJesus out of me. Black and yello stripes at the tail end big ole head and these great big brown wings and about 3 inches long.

  4. I have to agree with Rachael on this…These mothers are creepy…..interesting, but creepy.

    My son had a painful encounter with one of these fellas just a few days ago, durring our usual August camping trip to Willow Bay Camping Area in the Alleghany Nat. Forest between Kinzua Dam, NY’s Alleghany State Park and Bradford, PA.

    He was in some brush, gathering kindling wood for the nightly fire and got stung behind the ear. The area swelled up like a ping-pong ball. After some baking soda and a few hours with an ice pack, the swelling went down.

    The rest of the family and I continued to see many of them durring our stay. They are nocturnal and were drawn to our dining tent at night by the bright glow of the Coleman lanterns.
    I was also “escorted” to the tent by three or four of them while carrying my LED flashlight. For a flashlight, this thing is pretty bright for a flashlight and they seem to like the white-blue glow.

    They would continue to dive the tent untill everybody turned off the lights. Bedtime became a ritual of checking the tent before you went in, checking the inside of the tent, then killing all the lights while you got changed for bed. The bees that would land on the outside of the tant sounded like pagers or cellphones set to vibrate. It was funny but kind of scarry.

    We have been camping there for years and we usually get the same site. This is the first time we have ever seen these guys. We found a few dead ones around the fire area in the mornings. They look like the Cicada Killers, but I’m not sure. I’m wondering if these fellas are new to the North East? Like I said, I’ve never seen them here before.

    • nix your whole statement the giant hornet from Asia has no stinger to inject these flesh rotting toxins you speak of all they have is a bite witch they use to kill whole nests of honey bees but they dont want the honey its the young larva they seek i love discovery channel almost more than beer

      • Nix your whole statement; the Asian giant hornet does have a stinger
        a quarter inch long 1, 2, it also spits poison at your eyes (according to the video on the discovery channel) and 3, it not only has flesh rotting poison but also a neurotoxin. additionally it has chemicals which include a pain stimulant and another to draw more hornets to the victim. It doesn’t sting the bees because it doesn’t need to.

  5. I also have seen these bees, and they are huge,i have seen a least three of them near eachother. i would asume that there is a nest near buy? if i was to catch one who could i take it to??

  6. Geez – if anyone finds out where to send them for identification, let me know. I have two that I’ve killed, waiting patiently in a plastic container. I only ever see one at a time, between 5-6:00am (pitch black out), and they dive bomb my floodlight when it comes on. I’m worried about my family & dogs (it’s the dogs going out in the morning that sets off the motion light).

  7. Oregon State University will take any animal or insect and figure out what exactly it is. They get a lot of spiders from the general public.

  8. I have seen yellow jack bees three times the size that you show. I killed a deer in Eastern Washington and the normal size yellow jackets came around for a blood meal or a piece of meat. , while I was cleaning the deer. Thirty minutes passed and I noticed a few larger bees flying around outur campsite. My friend got so scared and sat in the car and roller up the windows. Even though it was 85 degrees, he never came back out. I stayed outside and one landed on my eyelid. I swatted it to the ground and looked at it. It was twice as long as a regular yellow jacket bee and fat around as a big bumble bee. It was yellow with black stripes…A few seconds passed and it came back to life and flew away. It wasn’t a queen bee, because I saw 3 different ones flying around the camp.I contacted a university, but they never wrote back.

  9. I am in Morgantown, WV. My son killed one of these bees at 5pm (still daylight). It came into the house and woke him up when it flew in the window. He is a very sound sleeper. It scared him so bad that it took him a couple hours to get back to sleep. He works nights. Anyway, I saw the bee and it did not look like the cicada killer wasp. I looked like a giant yellow jacket, the hind end of it was not pointed like the cicada killer wasp and it did not have that much black on it. He said that there is a nest of them at his girlfriends house. These things are scarry. The small ones are bad enough. I hope that they don’t have a bad temper.

  10. I’ve read all these post and have seen what you call the “Giant Yellow Jacket” bees your taling about, but these are not bees as stated in serveral of the post they are Brown Hornets the largets hornet in the U.S. and they sometimes resemble yellow jackets but are much larger (up to 1 1/2 inches). They love light and fly at night and are harmless if left alone. If you encounter on just move awary slowly, they do not like to waste their bite on humans, they would rather save it for their pray.

    Look it up, that’s probably what you all have been encountering.

    • They don’t have a bad temper, but they act like a big’s not healthy toget in their way or slap them in the face.

  11. I just saw what appeared to be a giant yellow jacket this morning on the sidewalk outside the corner store this morning in Los Angeles. The wings were about 1 1/2 inches! The head looked to be the size of a penny, and the body was closer to 3 inches long. This is a first for me. I told the grocery store owner about it because it was on the pavement inside his gate. He captured it in a glass jar and called some group at USC that is coming to pick it up today. Does anybody really know if these are Bees or Hornets? If so, could they possibly be a species from somewhere else that was transported, perhaps by produce from somewhere else?

  12. Its not a WASP its a Hornet they are from the U.K. were i live we have thousends of them, 9 stings can kill a hourse. they are leeving U.K. because it getting 2 hot in this country!!!!!

  13. I have had three of these so far in the last 3 weeks. Mine are black with white rings on the tail section. I am allergic to them and i don’t want my kids to get stung. Where do they come from and how did they get here? I have killed them all so far. just want to know if it really i a bee or what?

    • Allen, yours is what’s known as a Bald Faced Hornet. I’ve seen them throughout New England and down toward D.C. We would often encounter them near the base is large trees. They’re not friendly and will sting so please be careful, especially if you’re allergic.

  14. There are a dozen or do yellowjackets buzzing around my patio table, drinking from almost empty soda cans. They favor Hansen’s natural soda. I pour a little on my hand and they land there and lap it up, then fly away.
    I like the lil critters, like to watch the little guys.
    Never been stung and when they try to mooch from the soda I am drinking, I just shoo them away with a wave of the hand.
    Interesting: they won’t touch artificially sweetened soda but they do like Heineken!
    So, yellowjacket problem? Nope, no problem.

  15. What you are seeing is the “European Hornet” NOT the “Cicada Hawk” or what you are referring to as the “Cicada Killer”. Before you say they are the “Cicada Killer” do your research on the “European Hornet”. Compare pictures of the two. They are completely different looking. Match what you are seeing to the pictures and you will see that it is actually the “European Hornet”. I live in PA and I had four of them fly into my house at night time because they were attracted to the lights that were on in the house.

  16. Thanks for the above info. We live in PA and I went out to my screened in sunporch last night to look for my cat and there were about a dozen of these hideous creatures all over the screens. Of course, I freaked out and ran in the house and googled it . So now I know what is out there but I am still afraid….very very afraid. I HATE BEES!!! Well, life is full of adversity.

  17. I got stung by one on the finger. They were dive bombing me in my pool one night(the lights were on)…, i decided to get out and went to put down my patio umbrella and one must have been right were I put my hand to release the umbrella and it stung me….my finger is still swollen after TWO DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The one reply about 9 will kill a horse is scaring me!

  18. I live in Upstate NY (Palermo) and one of these things dove into our siding right below our outside deck light last night around 9:30pm. Yesterday was the first full day in our new house that we just bought, and this explains why the previous people must have moved out! My boyfriend was grilling and heard it buzz by him and hit our house. He turned around, saw what it was and grabbed a broom and beat it’s ass, but it did put up a pretty serious fight. In the end he had to step on it to kill it. I’ve read all the above submissions and done the whole google thing, I’m not convinced it’s a European Hornet because it was way larger than their average size. This sucker was black & yellow striped and between 2-3 inches long with a pretty big wing span. I saw it from the inside of the French doors as he was whacking it with the broom and this sucker was enormous. I told my beau we should have saved it for National Geographic but after doing some research this morning other people have seen them…….we were thinking that it could be a new species! I don’t care what it is but would someone be so kind as to tell me how to make sure no more surface? Should we get an exterminator or one of those bee traps or what? I don’t care if they are the most peaceful things on Earth, I do not want anything like that thinking that my deck light is the new “Hornet Hotel”. Please help us rid our yard of the potential for more to show up!! Thank you!

  19. I have also seen this giant bee/hornet and I have also googled to my hearts delight only to find nothing that sounds like what I saw. I live in Columbus Ohio and I was burning some branches in my backyard and I started hearing this buzzing sound. much louder than I have ever heard from a bee. It was flying no more than a foot or two off the ground and it landed real close to my burn barrell. Honestly it looked alot like a bumble bee on it was about 3.5 inches long and about an inch around. it had wings the size of a Hummingbird and was very loud. I could have killed it but I think it was a little large for my own well being. It was black and yellow striped and about the size of a roll of quarters. I have looked everyday since for another one and if I see it I plan to catch it. It is not described in any book or reference that I have searched. Truely the largest bee I have ever seen!

  20. I live in Reading Pa. and noticed one about 2 wks ago. It was buzzing around my porch. It was light out at the time and I just thought that is one big hybrid. The one I saw was about 1 1/4″ long and about 3 times the width of a yellow jacket. A duller yellow almost burnt orange and brown. It was no big deal until last night and today. Last night my wife came home after visting her mom and I had the porch light on for her. She came up stairs and said that there was a nest of bees on the stone face under the porch. I said that is bull because I look for nests on a regular basis. They love this house. I came down and saw a group of about 25 of the yellow monsters just sitting on the face of the house about 2 feet from the door. I don’t kill anything unless it is absoultly the last resort so, I left them go and they were gone this morning. Well to my suprise I was weed wacking around my lilac trees and 3 or 4 came after me. When I looked close the trees were swarming with them. I mean 100 plus. That is why I found this posting site. Mine are not the so called cicada killer and I don’t know if they are the European Hornet. I am going to try to catch one tomorrow and post it. I will keep looking until I am sure what they are. Sadly enough I just had to kill a whole nest of regular hornets that were attacking me every time I went to my garage. I hope I don’t have to do the same here.


  22. I live in warren county near the kinzua damn…. i just had my first huge bee sighting… it was on my grams screen…apparently they are common in this area… accordingto the youngs…. and neighboring nothern states… but im 21 and have never seen these in my entire life nor had any of my family….. its weird

  23. My family and I live in Maryland and we have seen these type of Hornets, Cicada Killer’s etc. (whatever they are) just about every night. They seem to be attracted to light. I used to see these types of “bees” when I was a child, and they had thier nests in the ground. But as I grew up they seemed vanish, until now. For the last few nights everytime we open our backdoor to the deck one of these things flies right in. They are huge, I really want to say they are about 2 inches long or more. Each one seems to look differently to me. The first one that flew in looking to be brownish with yellow striping around its bottom half, it had more of a rounded butt. It scared the crap out of my because my mom and I both are very allergic to any type of bee, so of course we didn’t know if this was going to sting us. The one that flew in last night was alittle bit smaller maybe 1 1/2 inches and it looked black with yellow strips. I can’t seem to figure out what type of bee this is. When I look at pics of Cicada Killer Wasps, they look like them, but without the pointy butts. Then when I look at the brown hornets they also look like them. So I am so confused as to what they are. Or even if they sting. I am worried my son will get stung by one of these things also. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. If you do catch these large wasps be careful if you decide to keep them – when dead -for examination down the microscope. They have a terrible odour of decomposition and the light source, if hot, increases it. It is not clear if this odour arises from hornet decomposition or an emanation from the bacteria which are responsible for the putrefaction. It lasts in the nostril for weeks (and months) which suggests it is bacterial. Use cold light if you must! DB

  25. I live in Central Florida, I was walking up my driveway the other afternoon and noticed one, I remember thinking that this is the biggest bee/hornet I’d ever seen, it made me nervous enough to pick up my pace and get out of the area. Today, I walked out in to my garage and heard a loud buzzing sound, when I turned to look I noticed an approx 3″ long, as round as a majic marker bee/hornet hovering along a wall. This was the same type I saw a couple days before. I grabbed a can of wasp spray and sprayed the thing, I know I hit it because I saw it fall in to my toolbox, I walked around my truck to get a better view and the next thing I know it flys right out. I am in agreement with those of you who have your doubts about this thing being a cicada wasp or European Hornet, this thing is too big. Joe

  26. I just killed 2 huge bees at my house, in cleveland ohio. they looked like a wasp but about 4 times the size. it was huge, and there were 2 of them. And about a year ago i came across a bee that looked like a wasp but the yellow and black stripe part was about 2.5 in long. it was crazy. I have no clue what any of these bees are.

  27. This is a Cicada Wasp not an Asian Hornet, you wouldn’t find one in North America anywhere and believe me Asian Giants get much larger than anything anyone has seen around here.

  28. We just found a dead one lying on the floor of our dining room. Looks like it’s been dead for some time based on the dust. I’m guessing one of our cats found it and was using it as a toy.

    I can’t say for sure about what is in the pictures of this post but what we have resembles the European Hornet and not the Cicada Killer hornets. We’re in Southeastern PA and I see many others here have found them too.

    I’m just glad they’re not an aggressive critter like yellow jackets as the thought of those things wandering around our house freaked out my wife. Especially as we have small children…although my kids seem to be more scared of lady bugs and want to play with the snakes so who knows.

  29. I think the European Hornet is very uncommon and I imagine it was a Cicada Killer wasp. I just saw one in our screened porch and it must have been AT LEAST an inch long. They are supposedly non-aggressive but I killed it anyway. I hate bugs and I don’t want to accidentally sit on it.

  30. Include Washington in the bee sighting. We were at Crow Butte Park in Paterson, Wa and there were a bunch of them. They don’t seem very aggressive. We could brush them away and they didn’t come back to sting us. My daughters boyfriend thinks they are the Asian Giants too.

  31. Hi Everybody! One of these was trapped on my porch. I covered it with a glass, and slid a file card beneath it, and released it outside. Yes they are big, and scarry. But unless you’re a cicada, you have nothing to worry about! Females can sting, males cannot.They are not agressive, unless you are threatening their nest, (a hole in the ground usually). You can see the same thing I saw if you google “cicada Killer Wasps”, and get all the information you need to calm your nerves… I needed to see for myself! Goodnight my children!

  32. I was swimming in my pool today and i was looking at my butterfly bush and thought i had seen a small humming bird, i got my camera out and zoomed in and captured a huge bee. Does anyone know where these came from? I was freaked because they were aggressive towards each other and the other bees and butterflies. Judy (Wilkes-Barre PA)

  33. I live in Maryland and I have one of those GIANT bees! I have been Googling my brain out trying to figure out what this monster bee is that has taken up residence underneath of my cement steps. I am not certain if this thing is a Cicada Killer Wasp or Asian Giant Hornet. None of the pictures seem to match. And to be honest…I’d rather not get close enough to check! All I know is that this thing is HUGE! It is mostly yellow with a very long body about the length of my index finger(no, I am not joking!). It sounds like a 747 coming at your head! Very much like a hummingbird. That’s actually what I thought it was at first. Then I saw what it was and took off running! I HATE bugs! Least of all bees! And this thing was Arnold Swartzabee! And I’ve only seen one. Flying very low to the ground.
    I have no intention of trying to catch this thing. Unless it’s dead! And I’m not getting close enough to take a picture….unless it’s behind a door!
    But, it doesn’t seem aggressive at all. I still don’t care! It’s HUGE!!!!! Wish me luck!!

  34. I live in a rural setting in western Pa., am 58 years old and I’ve seen probably every species of bee/wasp that exists here. I encountered these monster looking yellow jackets today. They live in the ground, similar to a yellow jacket but the dirt is mounded up around the entrance. They are about 3 inchesin lenght and as some other people mentioned they have more yellow than black. They seem to be docile as kids have been playing near them and no one’s been stung. I appreciate the above info. I’ll look up European hornets and cicada killers to see which one fits the image. They are extremely intimidating looking and I would hate to be stung by one.

  35. I searched for a few days a found out it is a “Snowberry Clear Wing Hummingbird Moth.” Just when you think you have seen everything it’s amazing just how little have. Look it up, maybe that’s what people are seeing, unfortunately they only live a week. Lucky for me i got some amazing pictures.

  36. okay my son and I were getting back into the car from a stop at village pantry, and I put my son in the car then i put my self in the drivers seat i heard this loud buzzing sound kind of made me think their was a locust flying in my car….. well i look down and right in between my legs is this huge bee or whatever it is it is related to a bee i started screaming and got out and pulled my son out and he flew out of the car and landed in the parking lot he sounds just like the bees you guys are writing about and looks most like the asian hornet…… why are they here?????? he looked like he had a brassy colored head and wings but his whole bottom was yellow and black striped i was so freakin scared!

  37. ken,
    It is called a Cicada Killer Wasp the correct name for it. I just researched it and found it! I have them all over my yard and going out there I feel I am on a suicide mission! Look that up and you will be awesome pics of it.

  38. It’s not a yellow jacket. It’s a Cicada Killer Wasp. They are large and they buzz a lot but they’re totally harmless. I hope you let it go. The females are the only ones with stingers and their venom is so specifically engineered to effect the Cicada, its generally believed to have no effect on humans. And it’s really hard to get a female to sting you since they’re saving all of their venom for food, or defense of their nests. Again it’s harmless.

  39. i have something in my backyard and it looks nothing like the pics everyone keeps telling everyonje to look up. it’s not a cicada or asian something or other or dingleberry clear wing thingy. it sounds like the one heather on july 29th mentioned. heather, if you find out what it is then come back and comment. thanks.

  40. Hi again! Roxanne I THINK what I’ve got is that cicada killer thing. It just won’t die! I sprayed a whole can of bee killer on it and the hole!
    My poor neighbors have them so bad. They have bored holes all along the sides of their front steps. And they have a baby. They are everywhere! Cicada killer….Muntant bug….I don’t care! These things are gigantic. And as far as telling someone to set it free???? Are you insane?? They’re HUGE!! Step on the friggin’ thing!!! Otherwise they’ll multiply! LOL! I wish EVERYONE luck!

  41. I have seen this huge Bee also. I have googled and looked at everything you all said it might be and it’s not that bug. This thing has a long brown body, and a black back with yellow stipes, the stipes looked like they are painted on. This bug is HUGE and I don’t like it. My husband made it mad today and now it won’t leave my porch area. It keeps flying around, low to the ground mostly and it can’t find a home it seems like. I live in Cleveland, Ohio and I would appreciate someone finding out what this thing is. My husband is going on a hunt in the morning to see if he can kill it. I don’t want my kids to get stung to find out if they are allergic to it or not. Please help!!

  42. Hey All, I posted back in Sept. 2007 about this crazy looking bee thingy. Like Heather I too live in Maryland. Back in Sept. of last year I lived 3 hours away from where I am now, and I never thought I would see those bees again. Well I was wrong. Just a few days ago, I found one hovering around my front porch. Now I am thinking they only come out in the late summer, early fall months because I haven’t seen one until now. Also, I think they like mulch because that is where it seems to be hovering around at ground level. It is very loud sounding and I would say it is about 3 inches long, and a browish and gold color. I can’t really tell if it has strips or not. Honestly it looks like a giant hornet. I still have no idea what this bee thing is or even if it will sting. I am very allergic to bees and just seeing it makes my skin crawl. My 3 year old son doesn’t seem to mind, but this bee seems to like him. It stinks because I can’t even walk out my front door without this thing zooming past me or my son. I am waiting for it to land or die or something so I can post a picture here so everyone can see it.
    If anyone in the Maryland or Eastern US area has a picture please post it, I wonder if we are all talking about the same thing.

  43. As I posted awhile back there is no doubt in my mine what most of you are seeing is a Cicada Killer Wasp NOT a Giant Asian Hornet so stop suggesting that it is. Asian hornets are not found ANYWHERE in the world EXCEPT Asia. Cicada Wasp are harmless so don’t worry about them. If it was a Asian Hornet you would be in danger, for they can kill with one sting and leave disfiguring scars from the potency of their venom.

  44. now i live in pa. i was my store when in flew this bug at first i thought it was just a mouth unit it hit the celling and it hit hard i look up and saw this thing. the words the came out of i will say then on here,where i’m here we just dont see things that big never. so i knock it down because i had ppl in the store at the time it hit the floor and i thought i kill it well behold this thing try to fly away so by luck i hit it again out of the air, this time it didnt move .i put the bee in a clear bagie no less the 5 min when by the bee started to move around again i did have time to look if up to found out just what and where the bee came from. and now i know.

  45. Heather July 29, 2008 9:04 pm – seemed to describe exactly what i have seen…. This thing is massive- I am not even sure it is a bee, because how can a bee get that BIG!!! I live in Southern NY on the Jersey border… I hope it is just one, and not a nest, but i beleive it has take residency under the cement steps that lead up to my front door.
    The bottom is black and yellow striped and huge, and the top I can’t even remember because I was running away as soon as I saw it. My husband has seen it a few times and I just saw the 747 fly under my steps and it is not coming out (it is dusk, so it is probably bedding down for the night) The bottom is so large and it flys fast, so I forget to look at the top-It is about the size of my index finger at least. I really want to know what it is- especially before I send my husband after it with bug spray.
    Heather if you find out for sure what you have please let me know, or anyone else. Thank you

  46. Laura again- Just read “Kelly August 16, 2008 2:33 am” that sounds alot like it too…the stripes are bright and kinda look painted on.

  47. It is me again, hoping someone stops by this site again, with more info…..

    I think we have at least two, one I have seen go into a crack in/under our front steps (they are cement)….
    then the other day my husband and I noticed a mound of dirt and a hole in the front of our yard, by the curb, (we live up on a small hill)- we thought a chipmunk or something may have dug it (to give you an idea of the size)… later my husband witnessed the “giant” thing fly in.
    I have looked at pictures of the cicada killers, but I feel what we have is bigger & the end of it is much fatter and longer. We have always seen them during the day, and the one under our stairs always seem to fly in around dusk, and not come back out till the next day.

  48. Hi Folks,
    My son and his friend have spotted large bee/hornet in the back yard. They took pictures but unfortantely we won’t see those for a week till they come back from holidays. My son (11) looked at the picture of the bee in the jar and the Cicada killer and said what he they’d seen was much larger. The moth-hummingbird didn’t fit the bill either. We are north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and have never heard of anything like this either. I’m going to go over their this afternoon and see if I can get a shot, also determine if they come out of the ground.

    There is the possibility that the sitings above are a variety of species but there seems to be one “unknown” species in this mix..

    Very cool that this “insect” should have such a wide range of habitat.

    Bill, Garrett and Jack

  49. okay, i’m sick of people coming on and being rude and acting as if they know everything. if you can’t help this post then don’t even comment. it doesn’t help us. thanks bill, garret and jack. when you get those pics i definately want to see them. i still can’t find what’s flying around my yard.

  50. I hope your not making reference to my comment Roxanne, if so, I am not being rude I am just relaying info I got from my cousin who is an entomologist who specializes in melittology who knows much more than you about the subject. If you want to believe that there are large undiscovered mutant wasp flying around, that’s fine post a pic and I’ll gladly tell you what it is 😉

  51. To TJD32204: I can’t speak for Roxanne as to whether or not she was referencing you in her comment but…I AM! You were rude and condescending. If you don’t like what is being said here, then don’t look and certainly don’t comment. And you can take your smart ass comments and shove it. Go be a know-it-all somewhere else. Oh wait…it’s your cousin that’s the know-it-all….not you!
    I’ve seen pictures of the cicada killer wasps and they aren’t as big as what I’ve got. These things are HUGE. So, maybe there is another species out there. But I’m certainly not getting close enough to take a picture.

  52. Now who’s being rude?? I didn’t mean to sound condescending but if that’s the way you feel, oh well I don’t care how you feel, go play with your giant mutant bees if your gonna be that way.

  53. TJD you are speaking to people like they are idiots. Maybe it’s just the way you are. We aren’t blind and we can see that it doesn’t look like the cicada pics. The thing in my yard doesn’t look like anything I can find on the internet. At all. What is here is bigger and uglier. So unless you have help as to what it is then, bye. If anyone gets a pic of this thing then the people at What’s that Bug might be able to help.Just google that name.

  54. If you notice I never said what your bug is but instead stated the FACT that there is no KNOWN bee in NA larger than the Cicada Killer. Maybe you have a freakishly big bee but that would be one in a million and not the case in most instances.

  55. Paper wasps aren’t big enough. And Tarantula hawl wasps are black. These are yellow with black stripes and are at LEAST 3 inches long. When they fly they sound like a humming bird.

  56. Now I am starting to think its a clearwing moth and not a bee at all. This seems to match your description the best. Let me go find a pic and post a link in the next comment.

  57. someone mentioned the snowberry clearwing hummingbird moth and mine doesn’t look like that. it favors the cicada more than anything i’ve seen. the one here (in north Alabama) is about 3-4 inches long and real fat. black and yellow stripes. that’s about the only thing i can get from it cause it flys fast.

  58. Hi Folks,
    I think I’ve found what my son has been seeing. It appears to be a Giant Ichneumons wasp. There are 80,000 types world wide and can grow to be 5″ long but seem too thin to be your mystery bee/wasp/hornet/thing. This site has pics from all over the U.S. –

    Thanks for letting me comment on your site – looking forward to the final outcome!!


  59. The reason I think its not a wasp or bee of any type is because to see any bee or wasp of more than 2.2in would be very rare. In the record books I think the largest wasp was about 2.4in long with a 3in wingspan. The clearwing moth that I was mentioning can sometimes get longer than 3in and are mistaken for giant wasp all the time.

  60. Okay, I don’t think it’s the Giant Ichneumons wasp, the ones I have don’t have that long thig(for lack of a better word! LOL!) hanging off of them. And I’m not sure about the moth. The bodies on the moths are fatter. These actually have the body of a hornet…..long and broken up into two pieces. And it looks like it has a stinger, I saw it moving. When these things land it’s like they are coming in for a landing. I thought I had killed all the ones underneath my steps but I saw another one yesterday. GREAT! UGH! Thanks for the help.

  61. I am back, and I am proud to say we caught the bug. Mystery solved. It is the Cicada Killer wasp. I had it alive in my jar and took it to someone who told me what it was. And once it stopped flying it matched the picture exactly as TJD32204 had posted in his/her earlier comments. To everyone’s defense, it does not look like the picture when it’s in flight. She was making her home under my kitchen window on my patio. She is very fierce looking and I caught her around 12:00 am digging the screenings out from under my patio. So they are active at night and if you go looking you just might find yours. I also have a friend who had about 50 of them in a nest in his yard and he said they left him alone and just chased the lawn mower when he was cutting the grass but no harm in that. Happy hunting!!

  62. Ooh!!! I got one! I got one!!! I took pictures too! I just have to download them. And it IS a Cicada Killer Wasp. I checked out the colors. Black with yellow stripes. And I saw a stinger. This mother was caught between my screen and window. And was PISSED OFF. It sounded like someone was throwing a ball at my screen….that’s how hard it was hitting it. Sadly….the bee is no longer with us as I KILLED it!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!! It’s funny, the wings look just like the cicada too. HUGE. But yesterday I found all these cicada “parts” all over my yard. Ewww!!! LOL!!

  63. Yeah, I have to say that’s what I truly figured it was, its really nice for so many of you to take an interest in some very cool critters.

  64. Yes, I have to agree what I have here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, is a Cicada Killer Wasp. I have researched this for almost a year now. I haven’t seen mine in about a week, But i have found it’s nest right at the edge of my sidewalk and grass. It is a hole in the ground with dirt all around it. I was also wondering, If frogs eat these things for dinner?? I have like 5 or 6 or maybe more frogs or toads outside my front door as soon as it turns dark, and since I have seen these frogs/toads I haven’t seen the Cicada killer. Anyways… Thank God for Frogs, I rather have them, then the Cicada killer things.

  65. Yes, those are Giant Asian Hornets, they are one of the most dangerous hornets on earth and kill on average of 40 people a year.

  66. Last night on the window above my front door there were about 20 or so of these very large looking bees, brown and yellow striped tails,rather pointed bottoms, and looked as if they had stingers. They were crawling around furiously on the windows and wood edging. The porch light was on. After about 45 minutes they disappeared. Any idea what they may be? I live in Virginia and have never seen anything like it before.

  67. I have just seen these large bee things in the past 3 weeks. They fly around my lights at night. I’ve been readiing the comments, and I too have a few questions. Do they sting, and when did they come to North America? I live in VA and have just seen them for the first time 3 weeks ago.

  68. I’ve been researching these Cicada Killer wasps, and what I read they are originally from Australia. I answered my own question (above) about the stinging. I guess they do sting, but normally leave people alone unless stepped on, or you bother them, i.e. get into their nest, etc. And it sounds like the sting is very painful. Did they just come to the US this year? My neighbors and I have lived here for years and never have seen them until recently. They are really creepy, all bees/wasps scare me anyway, and then these big bad boys show up. Most of the comments are from the east coast, I saw one in TX. Are they just entering the US starting with the east coast? I asked a friend in MO, and she hasn’t seen them yet.

  69. TJD’s cousin is a bugologist! Maybe he will comment and tell you more! I haven’t seen any in a while so I’m still waiting. I’m in Alabama. I only saw mine during the day. Not around dusk when everyone is seeing theirs. Good Luck.

  70. I live in south central PA and we have just started noticing these bees a few nights ago. It’s the weirdest thing because it has been very cool at night recently and that is the only time we see them, buzzing (loudly) around our back porch light. I haven’t even seen any other flying insects around lately due to the temp dropping but it doesn’t appear to bother these ginormously huge mutant bees. In my experience with them they seem pretty aggressive. I was just walking by them (hunched over and as fast as possible) to get in my door and one chased me right in the house and was buzzing around me really fast. I had to flee to my bedroom and shut the door til morning. Does anyone know where they build their nests? I’m thinkin we must have a new consruction nearby…

  71. Originally Posted By AngieI live in south central PA and we have just started noticing these bees a few nights ago. It’s the weirdest thing because it has been very cool at night recently and that is the only time we see them, buzzing (loudly) around our back porch light. I haven’t even seen any other flying insects around lately due to the temp dropping but it doesn’t appear to bother these ginormously huge mutant bees. In my experience with them they seem pretty aggressive. I was just walking by them (hunched over and as fast as possible) to get in my door and one chased me right in the house and was buzzing around me really fast. I had to flee to my bedroom and shut the door til morning. Does anyone know where they build their nests? I’m thinkin we must have a new consruction nearby…

  72. Hi,
    I’m in central Indiana and saw the first giant wasp/bee in mid-summer. We speculated it was some kind of mutant bee. Yesterday I saw them in my front lawn; they are digging holes in the grass near the curb. I think they are the cicada killer wasp/bee, but we have dogs and babies in the neighborhood and I don’t want them or their ilk. We will probably call a professional exterminator. Thx for all the info.

  73. Oh, sorry, I meant we didn’t want the wasps/bees here; we do want the dogs and babies. Should have proofed before submitting. Thx again.

  74. If they are cicada killers and from Australia they are a long way from home. Think about it climate change man taking over their foraging area where else do they have to go but following thier food sorce UofA does have cicadas in your area?

  75. I called an exterminator about the giant bees at my house. He said they are European Hornets. Then said that I would have to find the nest before he could take care of it. Said they generally make a nest in a tree and can be difficult to find as their nest may be up high in the tree and just inside of a nothole. GREAT! Like looking for a needle in a haystack, I am surrounded by trees. I have stopped putting my porch light on at night, but I need to get rid of them or they might be worse next year. Any suggestions?

  76. I wouldn’t get carried away about your hornet problem, depending on where you live they shouldn’t be active much longer.

  77. I’ve read everbodys post and can tell you the facts of the so called “Mystery Hornet”. Im a Carolina student in biology and the elusive creature that you folks have encountered is truly the Cicada Killer. The Cicada Killer ranges from the lower eastern to upper New England part of the United States and some parts of lower canada during mid-summer to late fall. Generally it has white to yellow stripes that do look like it was painted on from a distance of an observer. The main abdoman and thorax can be black to a reddish-brown color depending on the temperate climate or elevation changes in different regions. To those who posted the Cicada Killer only grows to 2.2 in, this is only an average size but can grow as long as 3 to 4 inches in lenght. There habits are pretty much basic during mid-summer when they are seen. The males are particularly the most seen because they will attack any movement of other male Cicada Killers,other bees,small birds, and flashy objects etc… You may see three or four male Cicadas swarming around eachother in fiecre battle just to mate with a passer-by female which is mistaken for aggressive behavior or neaby nest but harmless and stingless never the less. The female is the one that is the largest of the species and you better believe it has one hell of a sting but only if provoke or handle roughly. The reason people encounter them at night is because if in your area a fresh hatch of Cicadas appear (which is sometimes millions in one square block)they only hatch every 17 years and they are every where for about a couple of weaks during summer time. Since the primary food source of the Cicada Killer is the cicada, areas that have little to none cicada nests wont encounter a cicada Killer hence the “first time sitings” you guy witness.

    • can somebody please help me with identtifying this bee or what ever it is.i have been doing research for 2 days there is nothing close to this.the stinger is there but theres a nother one above it thats 5 times bigger u can reach me thank u a try to hury i dont want him to rot away

  78. We have bees larger than that on our farm in upstate NY.
    My fiance smashed one, impaled it on a nail, and it lived for 4 days. Trying to sting whatever came its way the entire time.

  79. i guess these things have made their way to West Virginia. I just saw TWO in one day, for the 1st time ever!! they are freaky!

  80. I found one dead on my basement floor, then today while downstairs one was flying around the light. I killed it with wasp and hornet spray. They don’t look the same as the cicada killer. I have a call into an exterminator. How are they getting into the basement?

    • Hey, bug guy relative, I’ve got a couple questions about other critters
      that may interest you and your “bugologist”. Today a guy at work gave me a large wasp I would say is cicata killer sized. It is black with one
      1/4″ orange band on it’s abdomen. It may not be native to NA. It was found dead (don’t want to scare anyone) stuck in the windshield wiper of a CH-46 helicopter. I’ve caught a cicata killer myself. 2) Does he know of any very large all black wasps that mimic hummingbirds in the way they fly? Dead still, left, right, back, etc… I was rotating my tires when I saw one eyeballing me next to my head. I took a few swipes at her with the tire iron but he avoided me like a hummingbird would. It was then I saw all her sibs around me all dead still! I tightened the lugs back up and left. They didn’t attack me. That was over 30 years ago and I’ve never seen the likes again. I still live in the same area. NC. It was creepy. Any info would be appreciated. Oh, by the way, I would say the bodies were over an inch, maybe approaching ck in length.

    • That is correct. It’s in fact an Asian Giant Hornet or some distant cousin, but I’m not sure the Asian’s found in N. America.

      Just Google “World’s largest wasp” and you might find it there. But it is not a bee. In fact, it’s a bee KILLER. A single on can decapitate 40 bees in a minute.

      Yuck. Cannibal.

  81. OMG…This happened last summer. We were in Central NJ going to an amusement park.Anyway the car broke down and we were stuck on the side of the road . We were there for a LONG time…So were standing and OMG…I NEVER EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR IN ALL of my life as a black woman seen something so scary….a HUGE ass bee…I saw fairly big bees before…You know the furry bees…This damn thing was as big as a friggin baseball with a stinger to match It was as big as a bird…So I see it and I literally have to pee right than and there… I was that scared! I took my kids and we jumped in the car and this damn thing landed on the window with a big ass thug like “whoomp!” and were screaming bloody murder …I swear after it left I swore I said…no that could NOT have been a bee…because I never saw one that big before !I was so shaken up I was literally like…out of it exhausted from fear… WTF did I see some mutant bee? It was so scary I try to block it out! What the hell if that thing were to have stung any of us I would have died! Literally!

    • i know exactly what your talking about, i work all over jersey and i see these monster bees all the time the first time i saw one i freaked out.

  82. The three hornets that I saw in Eastern Washington came out of an old grwth fforest that was about a hlf mile away. They were about as fat as a bumble bee and about an inch and 3/4 long,, but smooth and the same color pattern as a regular yellow jacket. I wrote several universiiiiitiiiiiiiies, but never heard anything. I think they were prehistoric yellow jacket hornets that have survived from the days of the dinosaurs…

    • If it wasn’t likely, then why would I take the time to tell you about it. It’s sceptical people like you that have shuned almost all of the discoveries of new species.
      I thought at first that the yellow jacket was a queen bee, but soon, i saw two more flying around the campsite. They were drawn to my campsite by the blood of the deer I’d harvested.

  83. I have seen these bees also. They look like giant yellow jackets–about 2-3 inches long with black and yellow stripes. They do not look like Cicada killers–much bigger and much more yellow on them. I even found a nest in a nearby storage area. The nest was huge–about 2 ft. by 3 ft.–and very unsual. It was not round–it was built over a hard hat that was hanging on the wall and the nest was not the usual solid grey color but actually a tan color with grey stripes in it. I have never seen anything like this before in my life! Has anyone found out what these are yet??!!

  84. So im looking at a monster bizzee with a yellow to black pattern on it’s back end and a wing span stretching to it’s back end as well if spread out it’s probably longer then the bee. Could you tell me what kind of bee I am dealing with here.

  85. If you wait until winter when the leaves are not on the trees and the hornets are not there you can get rid of the nest. The leaves help hide it and when gone make the nest easier to locate. Although if you come near it when the bees are active you should hear it! I came across one a few years back while horse back riding and it was loud.

    If you live out in the country you can shoot it out of the tree. IN THE WINTER WHEN IT IS EMPTY! But we have no neighbors and lots of trees so we can just shoot it down, we don’t call exterminators here. Good Luck and be careful, them suckers hurt if they get you.

  86. We had a terrible problem with the european hornets last year, mostly when our front porch light was on, but really no problem this year. Not sure what changed. Maybe last winter killed them off. I did however have 2 yellowjacket nests in my flower beds this year. Not sure which I would rather deal with, Europen Hornets or yellowjackets!

  87. Well down in south carolina i would see these things daily, there not something special to see around our place really as you see them alot. Earlier this week i saw one on a bush holding a locust/cicada in its legs. I also witnessed two of them chasing each other in a circle, possibly for a mate as described by The Doc.

  88. Ok.. I’ve been chasing these things for a few hours now in a huge field behind my house, we counted about 20 of them when they were out at their peak time, .. question.. do they live underground? I dunno if its the bee’s hole or the cacada but all i saw were the bee’s going down into the holes… very long deep holes. a few dead cacada were on the ground, i started using those as bait to catch one while it tried to carry it off, no luck yet but tomorrow ill try again. I was literally playing baseball with these things trying to knock one down to catch, they simply bounced off or went down then got right back up, i wanna catch one and keep it for collection without injuring it if I can…. they never tried to sting me, or i have dumb luck, but they sure are scary bee’s. my mom was told they were ants lol.

  89. Over at Lake Roosevelt in Eastern Washington i saw 3. Although it may not be the same bee as in these pictures as i can’t see it very clearly, the ones i saw looked much bigger, at least 3-4 inches long. It was black with no yellow, instead of yellow it was a more dark orange with black, black head, and pretty fuzzy. We hit it witha a hat against the ground, hit it again out of the air with the hat when it tried to fly away, then hit it again a third time it tried to fly away, but this time we trapped it in the hat and brought it to a picnic table all the while it was vibrating the entire hat, we grabbed a fork that was laying on the picnic table…we smashed that thing and damn near cut it in half. It got up and flew away as we stared jaws open, 100ft away we could still hear it buzzing. I’ve looked up Cicada Killers on google image as well as European Hornets, none look like what we saw but they do have very similar characteristics. Maybe a mix breed between them or something.

    • Maybe we’re talking about the same hornet, because i thought that the one’s I had seen, were European, but they sound more similar to what you clame to have seen, than that of the European pics I had been viewing. The only thing is, they were living underground.

  90. Can anyone HELP me to kill these things. I can’t kill them. I have about 20 at my front porch and they want let us in the house. I have 3 younger kids that they have chase them. They r HUGE and i have tried everything. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME !!!! We r scared of them. I have never seen anything like this. I have been looking on line to find what these are. Hope someone can help me.

  91. If anyone ever tells you that European Hornets do not make nests underground, they are wrong. I seen a bunch living under my step moms’ porch; right; that was a month ago. Guess where they are now? Digging holes underground to nest. They made a hole from one side of the sidewalk, right to the other side of the sidewalk. They are giant, and they have like a red hair on them; they look dangerous to me… I could be wrong though. However, I do promise that they are very large though.

  92. damn bee almost killed me on my head!!!! my mom crunched that sucker!! its dead on the floor and i think its going to haunt me!!!

  93. Hello, i walked into my garage this morning and nearly freaked out. I was looking through the window veiwing the backyard when i noticed a 2 1/2 inch maybe longer Yellow Jacket or similar Bee stuck between the screen and the glass, i dont know how a bee of such size managed to get in there but thats besides the fact. Now i live in Ohio and a Bee this size is frightening. Never seen anything like. Imagine seeing a Yellow Jacket, now imagine it 4x the length and as round as a cigar!

    Now im curious to find out if anyone knows why a Bee would be this size, i have a few pictures if it between the glass i can show. Its rediculous. Please fill me in on any info about a bee being this size in Ohio. For a picture send a email to and Put GIANT BEE in the subject.

    Thank you

  94. Heyyyy guy that appears to be the yard wasp .A loner as far as I know.I have never heard of any one being stung by one but they scare the heck outta me.I live in east Texas now.I havent seen any out here yet.I also miss the tarantula killer.I havent seen any of those out here either.Wow all this made me think of anoither critter I havent seen in awhile called a vinegaroon.Hes a scary looker too

  95. Okay! I need to know what these are! I saw one last night while taking my puppy out. It had nested in the ground and was huge (about 2 inches). Huge, black, yellow stripes. I freaked out & covered the ground with a towel, telling my husband to come get rid of it/them? Thanks, ya’ll! Donya

  96. Holy shit, I had the sme bee attack me today in Hamilton Twp, NJ. I happened to be playing ball with my dog n had a baseball bat in my hand. I swing n hit this ucker n I must have just knocked him out bc I did the same thing and put it under a flipped over cup, could have sworn it was dead, but an hour later n it was trying like crazy to get away…WHERE THE HELL DID THESE THINGS COME FROM??? The only thing I saw even close was on Discovery Channel and it was a Japanese orange hornet. First this crazy hot weather, now tropical massive insects…what is nj the next tropical rainforest?

  97. ok I have read all the post above mine and only seem’s like 2 other people’s reports with a similar type bee-wasp I had looked at all the picture none of them match. The bee- wasp thing I saw 3″ inches long the shape was like a cigar and got smaller on the end it has 2 yellow diagonal stripes on it’s mid section stripe width appeared to be about a quarter of an inch, I have lived in Cary IL for 35 years and I’m a outdoors person, never seen this specie before. Like I said though it does not match any of the hornets posted above or the Cicada killer. It was like a new species or man’s effect of a mutation of the environment.

  98. I’ve looked at a couple of videos and I’m not too sure but they look like Asian hornets. I work in ransomville ny and I came into work one morning about a week ago and seen over a dozen of these things on the window near the fuse box. All of them around 2 inches. CRAZY!

  99. Hello I’m from tennessee and me and my friend were just discussing these insects the other day. Yes in fact these are asian giant hornets more commonly known as japanese hornets they can grow up to 4″ in length depending on there environment they are normally docile but like any other animal will defend its home violently they prey on other insects and bees and are normally nocturnal but will come out in daylight. Thanks for the chance to share some knowledge hope I helped someone

  100. all of you people are morons(with the exception of a select few), if you really dont know what the bee is then catch it and take it to an agriculture office or something and have it accurately identified. I personally have just caught one in a beer can yesterday killed it with bug spray and am taking to such a place that it can be identified i will be sure to let you all know, but if i had to speculate i would say its somekind of hybrid hornet

  101. I live on long island, NY. I have these giant bees also looks just like a yellow jacket but is atleast 2-3 inches long and thick. My boyfriend Tried to kill it he used almost the full can of hornet/ wasp stray which only stunned it. We had to flush it!! If anyone found out what they are please respond! I just really want to know if they are dangerous or will hurt us!?! Thank you

    • The pics on this site look like European Hornets. We have had dozens of them in our lilac bushes for at least 6 years. They strip bark from bushes and trees for nest building and eat the sap and bring back sap balls to feed the immature in the nest. Two of their favorite bushes/trees are lilac and birch. When I first saw them and looked online for information, every site I found said that they are not aggressive. I had not worried about them until this year when one shot out at my husband and stung him on the wrist. He said it was extremely painful and days later felt like a deep bruise. These hornets have also been flying onto our deck and chasing us into the house, day and night. From what I’ve read,all but the fertile females (next years queens) will die off sometime in the next couple months. I’m not willing to wait that long and have waged war on these SOB’s. I bought a bug zapper (they are attracted to lights at night)and my first night was like watching fireworks! Once we’re sure that they are done for the season we’ll be removing all of the lilacs from our yard hoping that this will be the last year we see them.

  102. I got stung buy one of the big yellow jackets they dont like it when you cut down the tree there feeding on or getting there building material from. my fore arm is hurting real bad I hope it dont get worse or I my have to go to the hospital. it was about an 1″ and a half long. had about six in my face when one snuck up and got me in the arm.

  103. I have seen these things in my back yard looks like a yellow jacket just allot bigger I am going to catch one and have it identified

    • Found these entering a small opening in the aluminum siding under the eaves of the house. They have been feasting on the hummingbird feeders and literally chasing the hummingbirds! They chase them for a hundred feet or more. Sprayed up the hole and found hundreds of them dead this morning. Many more than I expected. Based on today’s research, I think they are probably European Hornets. (I had been calling them giant bees…) Anyone else see them chasing hummingbirds?

  104. I first discovered one of these giant jellow jackets July of 2011. It fell from a large elm tree while carrying a cicada hit the driveway and after a few moments picked up the cicada and flew away to the direction of the park. It seemed about 3 to 4 inches long. Today 9-21-11, I noticed my dog trying to eat something and it was another of these giant yellow jackets. It was dead but the stinger was protuding from its posterior abdomen and it looked like a sewing needle. The thought of being stung by one of these bees is frightening. Are they aggressive or only interested in cicadas…

  105. This appears to be a giant European Hornet.
    They are VERY large, but generally not as aggressive as their cousins. They actually will run away rather than attack unless they are defending their territory or are touched.
    They will defend their nests and food sources such as lilac bushes and fruit trees…and their sting is quite painful.
    They are also carnivorous and eat crickets, other bees, etc.
    They are nocturnal and workers are attracted to lights at night.
    All but the queens die off in the fall and don’t generally reuse their nests.
    There’s a great write up about them on wiki and

  106. I live in East Tennessee and we have them here too. They love porch lights and sound almost like a hummingbird. They average to be around 2 inches and very thick looking nothing like a wasp, but a hornet for sure. They have a reddish brown color. I’ve researched for HOURS and found nothing but this that looked like what we have. They are certainly not cicada wasps or yellow jackets or any kind of common hornet I’ve ever seen. If I hadn’t seen it for my self I wouldn’t have believed one existed that big. They are EXTREMELY aggressive and sting without provocation or being close to the nest. My daughter got stung on her hand and it swelled up to twice the normal size and her arm was red up to her shoulder for a few hours. I think we have a new species. I’ll trap the next one I see and take it to ETSU.

  107. I was stung or bit in the face once to the left of my mouth. Later that afternoon I got chills, cramps as my face got numb. I bee was in a cone shaped hive under a dock I uncovered. It’s size was at least 1.5 to 2″ long. The color was yellew and black (looked like a yellow jacket but much larger. It came right for my face. The venum mad my face break out and my lip swell up as if I had a cold sore on it.

    Q. What type of bee could it be (that Large) ?

  108. Wow, that’s a huge wasp, Poor thing it’s trapped in a jar. 🙁 For some reason I just really hate the idea of trapping animals in things. I think they probably get stressed and want to get out.

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