What’s the Difference Between a Bee and a Wasp?

Understandably, a lot of people tend to confuse bees and wasps. Although these stinging insects have similarities, there are also some major differences. Here are a few facts to help you separate the two species.


Bees are well-known for being pollinators that help the ecosystem to thrive. They primarily feed on nectar and pollen during the warmer months. On the other hand, wasps are relentless predators. Some of their preferred prey includes caterpillars and flies. Wasps certainly help control local insect populations. For good reason, you will not see any bees or wasps flying around during the winter time. They don’t have the ability to withstand the cold weather.

While bees will attack people when threatened, wasps are a bit more aggressive. It is not uncommon for a wasp to suddenly attack without being provoked. Virtually all bees are social among each other. Although wasps also work together, don’t be surprised if you see one by itself. Furthermore, a bee hive looks and functions completely different from a wasp’s paper nest.

Difference in Appearance

By looking closely at a bee and a wasp, you will quickly notice their physical differences. Unlike a wasp, a bee has hairy follicles that help it collect pollen. The wasp’s more slender body is yet another key difference. Furthermore, a wasp has round legs opposed to a bee’s flat legs.

Which One Is More Dangerous?

Whether you spot a bee hive or a wasp nest, you should take extreme caution. Both of these insects can cause a great deal of harm. If you get near them, they will certainly try to protect their territory. Some species can deliver an especially powerful sting. While the pain of a sting usually doesn’t last long, certain individuals suffer from intense allergic reactions. In some cases, it can lead to cardiac arrest and difficulty breathing. The person will require immediate medical attention.

Africanized honey bees are especially dangerous. Often referred to as killer bees, Africanized honey bees have power in numbers. Their entire colony will attack at once. They can take down a full-size adult in a matter of minutes. A small child definitely must escape in hurry.

What’s the Best Approach to Getting Rid of Bees and Wasps?

Think twice before attempting to remove bees and wasps on your own. The hands-down best approach is to call a professional exterminator to handle the job. Harbor Pest Control’s highly trained technicians will solve your problem. We use non-toxic formulas that don’t pose a risk to your family.

Be sure to contact Harbor Pest Control for all of your pest control needs.