The Differences Between Bees and Wasps

A bee and wasp near a flower

Both wasps and bees are common pests in the Henderson area. These flying critters come out of their respective hives during the spring more often, searching for food. For bees, flowering plants provide plenty of pollen for them to consume, while wasps enjoy snacking on everything from leftover picnic food to other bugs. Both bees and wasps are essential to the ecosystem, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be around them! Each type of flying insect has its distinguishing features, and knowing the differences between them can mean avoiding being stung.

Physical Features of Bees and Wasps

Both bees and most common wasps in the Henderson area are yellow and black. To the naked eye, they may look very similar! But if you look closely, you’ll notice that bees are distinguished by their more round bodies and fuzzy exterior. Wasps are shiny, with sleek, lean bodies. Bees also have a pollen ‘basket’ on their hind legs, which makes it invisible while they’re flying. Wasps don’t have this pollen basket, which leaves their hind legs dangling behind them while they’re airborne.

A bee and wasp

Share the Table with Wasps, Not Bees

It’s not technically a rule, but most of the bugs you see buzzing around the picnic table are wasps, not bees. Wasps eat a much more varied diet than their bee counterpart. They particularly enjoy sweet drinks, like soda. Wasps will also eat other bugs, so the ants on your picnic blanket are a tasty treat to them. Bees prefer pollen out of nearby plants for a meal, so you’ll see them a lot during the spring while flowers are blooming. While bees will sometimes buzz down for a taste of sweet fruit or juice, they’re unlikely to be interested in your food.

Who Stings More: Bees or Wasps

The question everyone wants to ask is: which type of insect is more likely to sting me? Bees are well-known for dying after their initial sting, so they don’t have too much of an incentive to sting you. Bees only sting humans when they feel threatened. If you don’t swat at them or threaten their hive, you’ll likely escape unscathed. Wasps are less discriminating; they can sting an unlimited amount of times and do so at the slightest provocation. If you suspect you’re dealing with a wasp issue, don’t try to get rid of them yourself. Call a trusted pest control expert from Dr. Death Pest Control to remove them safely.

Different types of nests

Is It A Single Bug or a Hive?

With spring bringing tons of delicious pollen for bees and tons of young bugs for wasps, you’ll likely see at least one of these critters around your Henderson home. Don’t panic! Bees nest in large colonies, inside trees or undisturbed structures. They can have up to 75,000 different bees inside a single territory, so it’s unlikely you’re dealing with an infestation unless you can physically see a colony. If you feel like you’re seeing bees constantly buzzing around, contact a pest control professional. Wasp hives don’t need to be particularly large, and they can form them out of a variety of different materials. You may have a hive without realizing it. Look around your property often for the build-up of soft materials like wood pulp or paper. These can indicate a wasp nest, which should be taken care of quickly by a licensed professional.

For more common pest and other related pest tips, please contact Dr. Death Pest Control.

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