3 Differences Between Yellowjackets And Honey Bees

Stinging insects are something that no one ever wants to deal with, but they will occasionally try and take up residence on your property. There are all kinds of stinging bugs out there, and some of them look a lot alike, such as honeybees and yellowjackets. Honey bees are relatively harmless and do a lot of good, like pollinating plants. Yellowjackets are a lot more aggressive and can go after you if they feel threatened. So, how can you tell the difference?

Appearance

One big difference is in their appearance. Yellowjackets tend to have a more elongated body, and they aren't fuzzy. If you look between the two segments of the body, you see a pretty defined waist area. They have bold, bright yellow and black stripes. Honey bees may also appear yellow and black, but their yellow is less a true yellow and more golden or amber. The honey bee is also fuzzy. That fuzz makes it so they can gather pollen and spread it from flower to flower. They still have a segmented body, but there isn't as much a defined waist area in a yellowjacket or wasp. Honeybees are also generally shorter than yellowjackets, but it's hard to tell that unless the two are directly side-by-side. 

Diet

Yellowjackets and honey bees also eat different things. A honey bee's diet is all about the nectar and pollen that they gather from different plants. They also take that back to their hives and turn it into honey. Yellowjackets will go after things like meats and sweet liquids. If you are at a picnic and see insects flying around your sodas and hot dogs, those will be yellowjackets and not honey bees. Covering up your foods will help to keep them away while you are at the picnic. 

Nest

Wild honey bees build hives, but they usually do it in enclosed spaces. They like to live in hollow trees, wall spaces, and attics. Those spaces keep them protected and also give them the support they need to build their honeycombs. The combs tend to look like sheets. Yellowjackets live in nests. If possible, they will live in an enclosed space, but their nests are made out of chewed-up bits of wood and look papery. 

If you notice that you have stinging insects around your house, you need to call an exterminator to help you get rid of them. Knowing the differences between bees and yellowjackets can help you let the exterminator know what they are dealing with. 

To learn more, contact a pest control contractor.


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