Know The Difference Between Bees and Wasps

There are so many varieties of insects and within each group of species are different types of each kind and it can be difficult to tell which is which. But each one has several characteristics to help us identify them, such as behavior and appearance.

Among the most commonly misidentified creatures are bees and wasps, both of which are important pollinators. It is easy to confuse them as they look very similar in appearance and both can be frightening as they have painful stings that can be harmful to us. So, how do you tell the difference?


While both bees and wasps will protect their queen, offspring, and/or colony, wasps tend to be more aggressive in doing so, whereas bees typically attack when they feel threatened or provoked. Wasps are capable of stinging multiple times and bees typically die after only stinging once.

Bees tend to pass right by us and continue about their business of gathering nectar and pollen, so long as we aren’t bothering them, but if you come across a wasp, even if you didn’t realize it was present, it may see you as a threat and try to attack you. Some wasps will even go so far as to chase you away from their nest.

While bees usually feed on the nectar and pollen that they go about from flower to flower gathering on their hairy legs, wasps will eat other insects and also feed them to their young; however, they also eat nectar.


Though they have many similarities, there are also traits that separate bees from wasps that can help us to tell the difference. Bees tend to have a little more friendly appearance with their hairy black and yellow bodies, while wasps have a more intimidating impression with a shiny, smooth, and hard exoskeleton; sometimes with bold coloring, such as red and black.

Another distinguishing attribute is that bees seem to have a more rounded and stout appearance built for gathering nectar and pollen on their legs, whilst wasps are more likely to have a long, slender body developed for protecting themselves as well as paralyzing their prey ; wasps look like a predator that you wouldn’t want to mess with.

Knowing and understanding the difference between these two potentially harmful critters is helpful when you are dealing with stings or having to remove a nest in order to keep both people and the insects safe. If you need assistance with removing a potentially hazardous nest, contact Advanced Pest & Weed Management today!

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