Difference between Wasps and Bees

Wasps and Bees both belong to the same insect order Hymenoptera and they are extremely valuable for the environment. Many people confuse wasp and bees with each other but they are not same at all. They differ in many ways, in particular their behavior and appearance.


Differences: –

  • Generally, bees have fuller bodies and have more hairs with a fuzzier appearance as compared to wasps. Wasps have slender legs and shinier bodies.
  • Bees are pollinators and only consume plant pollens and nectar but wasps are predators and prey on other arthropods and insects. In late summer and fall, wasps become more interested in collecting sweets and other carbohydrates.
  • Bees are less aggressive than wasps. Wasps are known to attack unprovoked but will mainly only sting you if provoked. Honey bees die immediately after they sting once, but wasps can sting over and over.
  • Bees are very social creature but it completely depends on the species whether a wasp is social or solitary.
  • Bees generally live in geometric hives made from wax whereas wasps live in papery nests made up of chewed wood particles and their own saliva.
  • Bees have a round abdomen and thorax but wasps have a cylindrical abdomen and thorax.
  • Bees have flat and wide legs but wasps have round waxy legs.
  • Legs of bees are not generally visible while flying but in wasps, two thin legs are visible hanging down during flight.
  • Honeybees and bumblebees are the most commonly seen species of bees. Cicada killers and yellow jackets are most encountered species of wasps.
  • Generally bees prefer to make their hives in more protected areas compared to wasps, who like inside a hollow tree, a wall or even a garden shed.