Giant Bee or Wasp

Asked May 16, 2018, 3:24 PM EDT

Hi, I live in Columbia, Md. With azaleas at the front of my house blooming, I’ve noticed a larger than usual quantity of bees, wasps and yellow jackets. When going in and out of my front door, two or three of them have found their way into my house. One night last week I heard this unusually loud buzzing of a bee. It was the largest bee I’d ever seen. It was sitting on my lampshade. I sprayed it with Raid and to my surprise it died. I snapped two photos of it and they are attached. I also saw a dead one on the other side of town in my friends driveway.

What is this? Is it poisonous? I read about a potentially deadly bee called an Asian Giant Hornet. I also read about a large insect called a Circadia Killer Wasp. They look similar. Could this be one of those bees? How can I locate the hive or nest? How best to get rid of it?



Howard County Maryland

2 Responses

This is a European hornet. They are a large but relatively docile type of wasp. The following page on our website has information about them and what you can do if you find a nest. The following publication also has good information about how to manage social wasps like European hornets.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture and USDA have traps out to monitor for Asian hornets and they have not been detected here.


Thanks for your prompt, detailed and informative response to my questions!
- Wanda