Bees, wasps and hornets are often confused, perhaps because they all belong to the same insect family, hymenoptera. All three are flying insects with black and yellow markings that form nests, and give nasty stings. That’s where the similarities end.
You can identify bees by their hair and round bodies. If the insects you spot in your yard are fuzzy looking, you can be certain they’re bees. Though there are over 16,000 species of bees, in North America we’re most familiar with honey bees. Their fuzzy bodies aid in collecting pollen to make honey.
Bees are non-aggressive. When they sting they lose their barbed stingers, so they only sting when threatened. If you’ve been stung and the insect leaves behind a stinger, you have been stung by a bee. Wasps and hornets don’t lose their stingers.
Bees also tend to group together in swarms around their nest. If you spot a large mass of insects hovering in your yard, that’s another way to identify bees.
Identify Wasps and Hornets
Wasps and hornets are more closely related to one another than to bees. Identify them by their long, thin bodies and lack of hair. Hornets are one of the larger variations of wasps, but look the same.
Unlike bees, wasps and hornets are aggressive. Though some wasps are pollinators like bees, for the most part they are predators, feeding on smaller insects. They will sting if you give them the slightest motivation to do so. Since neither wasps nor hornets lose their stingers, they can and will sting multiple times, so be careful if you’re attempting wasp removal.
If you need help killing bees, wasps or hornets, Magical Pest Control specializes in bee and wasp removal. Schedule a bee or wasp removal consultation online or call us directly at (905) 738-6676. We do consultations for free and can schedule a technician for you asap.