Wasps and Bees

Wasps and honey bees are beneficial insects, although they are generally considered to be pests because of their ability to sting. People often mistakenly call all stinging insects “bees.” While both social wasps and bees live in colonies ruled by queens and maintained by workers, they look and behave differently.

Wasps and Bees

It is important to distinguish between these insects because different methods may be necessary to control them if they become a nuisance. Wasps have a slender body with a narrow waist, slender, cylindrical legs, and appear smoothed-skinned and shiny. They have biting mouthparts and antennae with 12 or 13 segments. Females are the only ones that sting. Wasps and hornets will not die after they sting. The major difference between wasps and hornets is size and colour. Wasps and hornets help by eating other insectsThere are about 20,000 different species of bees in the world. Bees are robust-bodied and very hairy compared with wasps. Bees die after they sting. Their hind legs are flattened for collecting and transporting pollen. Bees are known as ‘pollinators’ meaning they help plants live and reproduce by transferring pollen between various species of flowering plants like flowers. They carry pollen on their legs and body from one flower to another.

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