How Can I Tell The Difference Between Honeybees and Wasps?

Since both wasps and honey bees are capable of stinging, they may be mistaken for one another. Wasps are naturally more aggressive predators than honey bees, which may attack if provoked. It’s crucial to know the difference between honey bees and wasps in order to administer proper wound care and pest control.


Wasps and honey bees are both insects belonging to the Hymenoptera order. Their physical bodies, however, are not the same. Honey bees are approximately 2.54 cm long. Some have black bodies with orange or yellow striations, and others have black or brown bodies with orange or yellow striations. Honey bees have hairy skin, while wasps have smooth, shiny skin. Wasps have four wings, are narrow-waisted, and can be brightly colored with black and yellow designs.

Preferences in Food

Bees eat nectar and pollen from flowers, and they occasionally eat delicious leftovers from the garbage. Wasps are carnivorous predators that catch other insects to feed to their nestlings. Adult wasps, on the other hand, eat nectar, honey dew, and decaying berries.


There are significant distinctions between wasps and bees in terms of where they construct their hives. Both can be found on any continent, except for Antarctica.

Wasps build their nests out of a pulp-like secretion made by chewing wood fibers and combining it with saliva. Yellowjackets and hornets will create a series of combs on top of each other, enclosing them in a pulpy envelope. Yellowjackets will build their nests underneath the earth, in holes “borrowed” from animals or hollowed trees, shrubs, within the walls of structures, and beneath the eaves of structures. Hornets may create nests in trees or along the sides of buildings. Under almost any horizontal surface area, paper wasps can build a single paper comb with no surrounding envelope.

Honey bees, on the other hand, use wax to create a line of vertical combs. They can nest in tree cavities, but a lot of their nests today are prefabricated hives provided by humans. Empty burrows and building openings are home to bumblebees.


If forced to defend themselves, honeybees will sting their prey- however it will only be once, as that is a fatal action for the common bee. However, a wasp will sting multiple times and be on its merry way. It will not affect a wasp in the same way it will affect a bee.