Bee, Wasp, Hornet Identification
See pictures and comparisons for proper identification of “bee”.
Comparisons (Bee & Wasp/Hornet)
- Bees have chunky bodies while wasps have slender bodies
- Bees are fuzzy w/ hair and wasps are slick, smooth bodied & shiny.
- Bees are pollinators & gather nectar while wasps are predators and feed mostly on other insects
- Bee nests are waxy and wasp nests are made of papery pulp fibers.
- Larger male (drone) bees do not have have stingers.
- Bees and wasps can both inject venom when they sting. Bees sting only once as a last resort and die while wasps and hornets can sting repeatedly without dieing.
- Bees are calm creatures while wasps are aggressive (predators).
Comparisons (Bumble/Carpenter & Honey Bee)
- Bumble & Carpenter bees are hairier, larger in size, stouter than honey bees. Carpenter bees being the largest.
- The yellow to black color is much brighter & vibrant with greater contrast on carpenter/bumble bees.
- Bumble & Carpenter bees often forage for pollen & nectar on same types of flowers as honey bees.
- Bumble & Carpenter bees are solitary bees & lack worker-queen hierachy, while honey bees are in large organized colonies
- Bumble bees nest in ground in abandoned rodent holes, cracks & tunnels. Nests are smaller & rarely found inside homes.
- Carpenter bees bore fresh holes in wood for nesting, nests are the smallest. Can be found on exterior wood, not as common inside home.
- Honey bees nest in sheltered environments like open cavities in trees, walls, or under the shelter of an eave or overhang. Are commonly found in homes.
Eric Burns, KBA, 7/5/2013