What's the Difference Between Wasps and Bees?

Bee on flowerBees and wasps are closely related flying insects that play an important role in maintaining balance within the ecosystem. While bees help pollinate plants, wasps feed on insects that can damage crops, landscaping and garden plants. Although they appear similar in size, shape and color, there are some important distinctions between bees and wasps beyond their diets. Continue reading to learn which of these insects is infesting your yard.


While bees are social insects, wasps can be social or solitary depending upon the species. Because a bee’s stinger is barbed, it stays inside the victim after the attack. The loss of the stinger causes severe bodily harm that causes the bee to die. As a result, bees are less aggressive. Wasps are more easily provoked. The insect’s straight stinger allows it to sting their victim numerous times. When wasps are harmed or feel threatened, they release hormones to alert other insects and mark the target for a swarm attack. Bees and wasps usually avoid humans and only sting out of self-defense. The insects inject venom that can trigger a life-threatening shock response in guests and members of the household, including your pets.

Physical Characteristics

Bees and wasps share some common physical traits. In addition to having two pairs of wings, the body of these insects is covered with various shades of yellow and black. Honeybees have round, hairy bodies that allow them to gather and distribute pollen. Their legs are flat and wide. Wasps have a slender, smooth body that appears shiny. Their smooth, round legs have a waxy appearance.

Nesting Habits

Bees live in a hive made from beeswax or honeycomb. In addition to storing food like honey and pollen, the densely packed matrix of hexagonal cells house eggs, larvae and pupae. Wasps do not have the ability to produce wax because they do not have the necessary glands. These insects create a paper-like material from wood pulp. The size of each nest indicates the number of insects inside.

Removing a Bee or Wasp Nest

Bees and wasps can make it difficult to enjoy your outdoor living space. Because of the potential health risk, it is best to contact a professional pest control company to remove a bee or wasp nest instead of attempting to perform the task yourself. Our technicians have the experience and tools required to safely remove the nest and relocate the insects to another area. If you notice a nest, contact My Exterminator right way to receive a free, no-obligation quote. We can help you take your yard back.

We proudly serve a large number of locations, including Dale City, Virginia, so be sure to check out our service area to see if we can make it to your location.

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