What Are the Similarities Between Bees and Wasps?

Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Kravelv

Bees and wasps can sometimes be hard to tell apart, you hear a buzzing and instantly think the worst. They look the same, they sound the same and all you can think about is how they’re going to sting you. But, to your comfort, that’s not exactly true.

People are usually more forgiving of bees, considering they help protect the environment. Because of this, you see many people having their own beehives in their backyards. If you’re considering doing this too, it’s vital you can the correct knowledge, size garden, and beekeeping kits before starting. Saying this, the two insects may be more similar than you think.

wasps on flower

If you ever think you have a beehive or a wasp nest near your home, make sure to call for a professional wasp nest removal company to take care of the problem for you. Getting professionals to take care of the nest is safer for you, and they will know how to treat the nests without causing harm to the insects.

This article will look into all of the similarities between bees and wasps so that you get a better understanding of the two.

Both are pollinators and help the environment

This may surprise you, but wasps also pollinate plants and flowers just like bees. When wasps travel from plant to plant looking for sweet nectar to feed on, they accidentally carry pollen with them on their bodies. However, as they have much less hair than bees, they don’t carry nearly as much pollen as bees do. Nonetheless, they still help contribute to the pollination!

Wasps are also very helpful for the environment; they’re great for controlling the number of pests and insects in crops and gardens. They feed their larvae with these insects, who then convert the protein into carbohydrates, producing sugary droplets for the adults. Due to this, pest numbers aren’t out of control.

Male bees and wasps can’t sting

Another widely unknown fact is that only female wasps and bees can sting. The males don’t have the stingers to be able to do so, as it’s a modified egg-laying device that only the females have.

Both insects will only sting when they feel threatened, despite wasps’ reputation for being aggressive. The difference between the two is that bees will die after they sting once as the stinger is pulled out from the bee, whereas wasps maintain the stinger allowing them to sting multiple times.

Wasps and bees both have a Queen

Another similarity between bees and wasps is that they both have a Queen in their social group. For wasps, the Queen hibernates during the winter and is the only wasp able to survive during this season.

They both love a bit of sugar

Although bees are vegetarians and wasps aren’t, their diets do have some similarities. Bees usually feed off sweet nectar from plants, as do wasps. They both have a sweet tooth, which is why they’re likely to be found hovering around our summer picnics.

They both create their own nests

Wasps and bees both create their own nests and hives by themselves. Wasps do this by using wood and turning it into a pulp-like material. Bees create beeswax to form their hive.

Their appearance

Bees and wasps look pretty similar, which is why most people struggle to tell the difference between the two. Both are black and yellow, making it hard to quickly tell which is which. Both also have large wings.

However, there are ways to tell whether an insect is a bee or a wasp. Next time you’re struggling to work out whether it’s a bee or a wasp, try and see if it has a longer body (which will be a wasp) or a rounder body (this will be a bee). Bees also have a lot more hair which helps with distinguishing between them.

Bees are believed to descend from wasps

Evidence suggests that bees originally evolved from hunting wasps and that pollen feeding allowed the bees to adapt and change. So this explains the big similarities between these two insects!

See, they’re more similar than you think!

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the similarities and differences between the two insects. Although wasps can come across as scary and aggressive creatures, they’re not too different from the well-loved bee. So, next time you come across one of them you’ll be able to tell whether it’s a bee or a wasp, either way – be kind to them!

Kravelv is a full time digital marketer and part time furniture and cabinet maker. During his free time he would like to create something out of recycled woods, this varies from toys, furnitures plant boxes etc. Follow him on Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook