Flying Insects – The Difference Between Bees, Wasps and Hornets
You may think you know, but do you really understand what key factors differentiate the flying insects? What makes a bee a bee, or a wasp a wasp?
If your seven-year-old nephew asked you what’s the difference between these pesky flying insects, would you be able to confidently explain what’s what and look really awesome in his eyes? Or would you have to pull out your smartphone and do some fact checking?
If you’re no longer so sure, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered!
First things first, let’s get this out of the way quick:
Go blow some kid’s mind with that. We’ll wait.
Welcome back. So now the real question is:
What’s the deal with the remaining two types of flying insects: bees and wasps?
To answer this question, we’ll have to perform some tests. Don’t worry, they’re easy.
Flying Insects Appearance Test: Fat And Hairy, Or Skinny And Bald?
Quite simply put, wasps are long, thin and smooth. Bees are round and fuzzy.
This is because wasps are hunters and bees are gatherers. Wasps hunt other bugs for food, so they need to be sleek and aerodynamic to catch their prey. Bees collect pollen, so they need a heftier, hairier body (the hair traps pollen) to help store and transport their precious cargo.
To elaborate even more on their appearance, bees are often 11 to 25 mm long whereas wasps and hornets vary between 12 to 40 mm long. Bees will always be yellow and/or black, but wasps can vary in colouring from black and yellow, to reddish-brown to even white in colour depending on the species.
Flying Insect Personality Test: Friendly Or Mean?
To put it simply, bees are generally friendly whereas wasps tend to be mean.
Bees are gentle and like to keep to themselves. They hang around flowers, filling up on pollen before buzzing over to the next flower.
Wasps are much more aggressive, stalking human gatherings in search of food to eat. Overripe fruit and sugary drinks are their absolute favourite. So if a flying insect that isn’t just a house fly is buzzing around annoying your dinner guests, it’s most likely a wasp.
Flying Insects Homemaking Skill Test: Hive Or Nest?
After a long, hard day of gathering pollen, a bee goes home to a hive made up of hexagonal wax cells made from beeswax secreted from their abdomen. Oftentimes though, you won’t even see the beehive as bees tend to swarm around it. Instead, you’d just see a big flying ball of bees.
Unlike bees, wasps go home to grey-coloured paper-looking nests made up of chewed up wood pulp. If you have a wasp nest in your backyard or anywhere else on your property, you’ll want to call the professionals to take care of it as soon as possible. Wasps can get very territorial protecting their queen and can cause a lot of damage if they decide to swarm you or your guests.
If you ask us, bees are the better housekeepers.
Flying Insect Ouch Test: How Many Times Did They Sting Ya?
This is probably the worst way to distinguish a wasp from a bee, as either way it can hurt a whole bunch! But if it stings you once and you find the stinger inside you, it’s a bee. If it stings you a bunch of times, it’s a wasp.
Both bee and wasp stings will show similar symptoms to their victim however, with an initial sharp pain or burning at the sting site. You may also experience residual redness, swelling and itching.
Bee stings can happen, especially if you accidentally touch one while rooting around in your garden, however they don’t mean to sting you. When a bee stings, their stinger is pulled from their abdomen and unfortunately, they die as a result.
Wasps on the other hand feel no remorse. They are able to pull their stinger out of their victim and live to sting another day, or even sting you again right after the first one. On top of this, when stung by a wasp, the wasp actually releases a chemical to alert other nearby wasps. When other wasps detect this chemical, they’ll join the original wasp in a swarm to help attack the enemy (you).
Some neat and not so neat facts, huh? We hope this article will teach you to appreciate the subtle differences between bees, wasps and hornets, but if you don’t, we understand. After all, a pest is a pest. If nothing else, this blog will help you avoid the flying insects that are a little more vengeful than their other insect companions.
Want Flying Insects To Buzz Off For Good? Contact Terminix Canada Today!
Whether it’s bee removal, hornet nest removal, wasp removal or your looking for help identifying the flying insects that are harshing your mellow, Terminix Canada can help. Our pest management services are effective, efficient and affordable. Book a free consultation with us today!