Understanding the Difference Between Bees and Wasps

Bees and wasps can be difficult to tell apart. They both fly and sting. And many times, they even both have yellow and black stripes. However, understanding the difference between bees and wasps is important. Bees help to pollinate plants, create honey, and are usually harmless unless they feel threatened, while wasps are predators and can be a nuisance. 

In today’s blog, we are going to discuss the difference between wasps and bees from their appearance and diet to how they make their nests. Continue reading to learn more and if you have wasps in or around your home, contact the Sacramento pest control experts at Earthwise Pest Management for safe and effective wasp removal


Bees and wasps do often look alike, which is one of the reasons that they are so commonly confused with one another. However, wasps and bees do have quite a few differences in their appearance and once you understand these differences it becomes easier to tell them apart. 


Bees tend to be rounder in shape than wasps. They almost appear fuzzy from the hair that allows them to collect and disseminate pollen. While appearance can vary slightly between species, bees typically have black and yellow stripes. 


Wasps are thinner compared to bees. They have skinny legs and are not hairy. They can range in color from yellow and black stripes similarly to bees to black and metallic greens and blues. Wasps have segmented bodies and can appear almost shiny. Yellowjackets are the type of wasp that is most commonly confused with bees. 


While bees and wasps may visually look alike, their diets are extremely different. Bees tend to be vegetarians while wasps are predators. 


A bee’s diet consists of plant pollens and nectar. They don’t consume other animals. Instead, they fly from flower to flower pollinating them as they eat. 


Wasps eat other arthropods and insects for the most part. They will also scavenge for sweet food, drinks, and carbohydrates in the latter half of the summer. This is also the time when wasps become more of a nuisance to people.  


The way that bees and wasps build their nests is also incredibly different and can vary from species to species. Some bees and most wasps have a one-year life cycle and only live in their nest for a year while others continue to live for years in the same hive. 


Bees make their nests or hives from wax. Honey bees are perennial insects and will live in their nest for years as long as the colony is healthy. However, bumblebees have a one-year life cycle and only use their nest for one year. 


Wasps typically die off during the colder season, so they use their nest for just one year. Wasps chew wood particles to make paper to create their nests. 

Contact Earthwise for Sacramento Pest Control

If you have wasps in or around your Sacramento home or business, Earthwise can help. We can safely and efficiently remove wasps nests from your home, attic, garage, and more. Contact us today to learn more about our wasp removal services.