Difference Between Wasps, Hornets, And Bees

What is the difference between Wasps, Hornets, and Bees? When you’re out in the garden, it’s easy to misidentify one for another. So, before you go and kill a wasp without knowing exactly what type of insect it is, you might want to take a minute to read this article.

What is Wasp?

 A wasp is a small, brown and black insect. Wasps are classified in the family Vespidae. They are solitary and territorial insects that build their nests in trees, shrubs or on the ground. Wasps use their powerful stings to defend their nests and their young. There are many different types of wasps, but all wasps are distinguished by their antennae. Wasps have two pairs of thin, tube-like antennae that they use to sense their surroundings. In addition to sensing danger, wasps use their antennae to find food and to communicate with other wasps.

What is a Hornet?

Hornets are a type of wasp that are found in the United States. They are distinguished from other wasps by their black and orange body, their long and slender stinger, and their habit of nesting in trees. Hornets are predators, eating insects, spiders, and other small creatures. They can sting humans, but rarely do so. Hornets are large, black and yellow wasps that have hard wing cases. The female wasp is larger than the male wasp. She has a long stinger on her head and can sting in self defense, but rarely does so. Males can sting as well, but do not have the stinger. The female hornet lays her eggs into small underground cells made of paper, plastic or wood. When she finishes laying eggs the female will seal up the cell with a small plug, usually made of mud or clay. After all of her egg are hatched she will lay more eggs into new cells until all of her eggs hatch and grow up to become young hornets. She will then leave the nest when they are old enough. The young hornets will stay in the nest until they are able to fly and find their own places to live. The young hornets will stay with the mother for a short time after they leave the nest, then the mother wasp will die.

What is a Bee?

Wasps are yellow and black and Hornets are mostly black with some yellow. Bees are all different colors! Some bees are light green, some are light brown, some are dark brown, and some are even pink! There is one bee in particular, the Queen Bee, that is the color of honey. Bees live in colonies of about 20,000 bees and each bee does one job in the colony. The queen bee lays eggs and the workers hatch them and feed them until they’re able to fly. Then the worker bees work hard to build the colony up by gathering nectar and pollen from flowers. They use this pollen to make honey which they store in their cells. The queen bee lays eggs that become worker bees. The other bees live a very short life and die shortly after mating.

Wasps, Hornets, and Bees: What’s the Difference?

There are a few key differences between wasps, hornets, and bees that you should know if you’re trying to identify one from the other. Here are the main points to consider:
  • Wasps are smaller than hornets and bees, with queens being the smallest of the three.
  • Hornets are stockier than wasps, with their bodies typically covered in hair.
Bees have a longer tongue than wasps and hornets, which they use to collect nectar and pollen.
  • Wasps build their nests out of paper or other materials, while hornets build their nests out of insects or other small creatures.
  • Bees have stingers on their hind legs that they can use to attack predators or other animals.
When you think about insects, wasps usually come to mind. They are small, approximately 1/4 inch long, and typically have yellow and black markings on their body. Wasps are members of the insect family Vespidae, which includes hornets and bees. Hornets belong to the same family but are much larger, with wingspans up to two inches wide. Bees, on the other hand, are the largest of all the insects and can be up to one and a half inches wide! There are many differences between wasps, hornets, and bees, but one of the most obvious is their size. Hornets are typically smaller than wasps and bees, with wingspans of about 1 inch. Wasps also have shorter legs than hornets and bees. Their bodies are also typically more slender than those of hornets and bees. Another major difference between wasps, hornets, and bees is their behavior. Hornets tend to be solitary creatures while wasps live in colonies of dozens or even hundreds of individuals. Bees live in colonies but usually for only a short time during the springtime when they are raising new bee larvae.


Wasps, Hornets, and Bees are all types of insects that belong to the order Hymenoptera. All three groups of insects have some characteristics in common, but they also have important differences.

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