The buzzing, stinging, and biting creatures might look alike, but differentiating bees and wasps can be quite challenging. We are generally unaware of their life patterns and get confused between the two. However, the physical and behavioral characteristics distinguish them from each other. One should understand the difference between Wasps and Bees to protect your home from these buzzing creatures. Let us look at the difference between wasps and bees.
What are bees?
Bees are flying insects and members of the Apidae family that collects nectar and pollen. They are pollinators providing goods such as oils and other food raw materials.
What are wasps?
Wasps are predators and pollinators protecting gardens and farm crops by mitigating pests such as greenflies, caterpillars, etc. They are part of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita.
Physical Characteristics of Wasps v/s Bees:
Bees and Wasps have different leg and body structures.
- Wasps have smooth bodies and legs, whereas bees have hairy bodies and legs.
- The abdomen and thorax of a Wasp are cylindrical, whereas bees have a round thorax and abdomen.
- Wasps have round and waxy legs, whereas bees have flat and wide legs.
Eating habits of Wasps v/s Bees:
- Wasps are predators and eat other insects such as flies and caterpillars, etc. Sometimes, they sip nectar and get attracted to sugary human food like beer and beverages.
- Bees are pollinators found in areas with an abundance of flowers. They collect pollen and sip on nectar. Bees can also drink water. The Queen- bee eats Royal Jelly nectar to get transformed from a normal bee to a Queen-bee. Bees even use water to clean their hives.
Behavioral Characteristics of Wasps v/s Bees:
- Wasps are predators, usually more aggressive and easily provoked. They can sting while you try to brush them away. The stinger of a wasp is smooth and easily comes out of the skin. Wasps release pheromones at the time of danger and alert its family. The family will come out and attack the person.
- Bees usually poison their stingers when they need to protect their hives or themselves. The stinger of a bee is sharp, pointy stays in the skin after a person are stung. The bees poison their stingers from the thorax, and this stress eventually causes its death.
Habitat of Wasps v/s Bees:
Nesting Habit of Bees:
- Bees live in colonies. These colonies consist of a Single Queen, many workers, drones, etc.
- Approximately 40,000 bees can stay in a beehive. It contains a densely packed matrix of hexagonal cells made of beeswax, called a honeycomb. The bees use these cells to store food and breed.
- The nest usually has a single entrance with relative uniform bee space. The cavity walls are coated with a thin layer of hardened plant resin and smoothen the hive entrance.
- The nest architecture of honeycomb stores: honey at the top; beneath it are rows of pollen-storage cells, worker-brood cells, and drone-brood cells. The lower edge of the comb has Queen cells.
Nesting Habit of Wasps:
- Wasps do not have wax-producing glands. They create a nest by gathering weathered wood, softened by chewing and mixing with saliva.
- The type of wasp nest can depend on different species and locations.
- Social Wasps build their paper pulp nests on trees, in attics, in the holes of the ground with access to the outdoors.
- Solitary Wasps build their nests under the ground, such as under eaves and porch ceilings.
Wasps and bees, both are dangerous. Invading the bee or wasps’ territories might anger them, and you might get stung. If you find a wasp nest or a beehive near your premises, contact the professional bee and wasp control specialist for issues around your property.