Difference between bees wasps hornets

Abell Pest Control

It would be easy to lump every buzzing, yellow, stinging insect into the same category. But when it comes to the differences between bees, wasps and hornets, there's more than meets the eye. Keep reading to learn about what separates friendly pollinators from not-so-friendly pests.

Characteristics of bees
In general, bees are small, fuzzy and have black stripes on a yellow body. According to the University of Minnesota, male bumblebees have 13 antennal segments and seven abdominal segments while females have 12 antennal segments and six abdominal segments. There are many different species of common bees, each with a unique striping pattern. Some will have uniform stripes, while others only have one. Honey bees are only capable of stinging a human once - they aren't able to extract the stinger from human skin. The damage this causes to the bee's structure usually results in death. However, honeybees will rarely sting humans unless provoked. In fact, their stingers are generally reserved for other bees.

Bees are an important part of the ecosystem because they help to pollinate plants. Without them, many plants wouldn't bloom, and that could lead to widespread crop failure. In fact, many large-scale farmers will hire beekeepers to bring colonies to their crops for pollination. However, bees are very susceptible to broad spectrum pesticide use, which means farmers should be very careful about when and how they spray their crops with chemical insecticides. Environmental destruction is also harmful for wild bees and can lead to Colony Collapse Disorder, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Characteristics of wasps
Wasps can be difficult to classify as a whole group, because there are many different species with unique habits. That said, there are a few general characteristics by which to identify wasps. For instance, wasps are less hairy than bees and often have longer wings. Unlike bees, they are either predators or parasites to other insects. They do not produce honey and have very little impact on pollination, according to Colorado State University.

One of the most common North American varieties of wasps is the yellowjacket. They produce a paper nest, which is often hidden in another structure. In nature, they may take over a hollow tree or other animal nest. In suburban environments they could build a nest in a building or around outdoor furniture or in the ground. Large wasp infestations typically require the intervention of a professional pest control service. Their stings can be quite painful and they are easily provoked by sudden movements.

Characteristics of hornets
True hornets are not found in North America, but there is a variety of wasp that is commonly known as the bald-faced hornet. These differ from other types of wasps in that they produce their nests out in the open, such as hanging from a tree branch. According to the University of Idaho, their nests can often reach the size of a soccer ball. Bald-faced hornets are black with white markings on their heads and thoraxe.

About the author:

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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