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The Residents Of That Paper Nest In Your Tree Are Good Neighbors

Molly Keck
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is noticing an increase in the number of small Mexican honey wasps in the Bexar County area and experts are putting out the word that these insects are not the harmful wasps that people are typically afraid of.

The Mexican honey wasp is a beneficial insect that eats other more harmful pests, and Molly Keck, an entymologist with the Texas A&M AfgiLife Extension Service, said they are not prone to attacking humans, unless they become irritated.

Keck said it’s hard even to do that, because they are not bothered by lawnmowers or loud noises, and will only sting if their nest is disturbed.

People often mistake the wasps for bees, but Keck said the honey wasps are docile.

"They’re  a wasp, but they’re one of the few insects that’s able to produce honey other than honeybees," Keck said.

Keck said her office is getting more calls about the strange-looking nests appearing in trees and even tall shrubs, and people are worried they might be honeybees

"It’s about the same color as bark but it’s totally closed up, and it can be football-shaped or basketball-shaped. It’s a big sphere up there, and it can be larger than a basketball oftentimes," she said.

If you are concerned about a nest in your yard or neighborhood and would like more information, call the Bexar County AgriLife office at: (210) 467-6575.