Difference Between Bees and Wasps

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Bees and wasps are members of the insect order Hymenoptera. Both bees and wasps are generally valuable to the environment and people. Bees and some wasp species are well-known as pollinators. Being predators, wasps also feed on other insect pests protecting our crops, gardens and landscape plants.

But they can pose a serious problem and even a threat to people, especially those who are allergic to their stings. Appearance The difference in appearance between bees and wasps is huge. Bees have sturdy and hairy bodies with flat rear legs. They appear to be fuzzy that helps them gather and distribute pollen. Wasps are slimmer with slender legs and a narrow waist connecting the thorax and abdomen. Their body appears smooth and shiny. Feeding Bees as pollinators consume plant pollens and nectar from various plants and flowers. They also feed pollen and nectar to their young bees. Bees spend a lot of time flying to different flowering plants to collect and disseminate pollen. Their fuzzy bodies are perfect for holding on to the pollen as they carry it from one area to another. Bees also drink water and use it for cleaning their hive as well. The Queen bee eats Royal Jelly, a special nectar-like substance that transforms her from a normal bee to a queen. Wasps are generally predators whose sleek bodies are ideal for hunting. They eat arthropods, insects, flies, caterpillars and feed them to the developing young. But sometimes adult wasps may sip on pollen or nectar or become attracted to the smell of human food, sweet drinks or beer. Nests Bees build their nests out of wax cells that are stacked on top of one another. Their nests are usually manufactured, but some bees make their homes in buildings, tree cavities or even holes in the ground. Honey bees are perennial insects and their nest remains functioning as long as their colony remains healthy. Wasp nests are built from paper-like materials of chewed wood particles and their own saliva. Their nests consist of one or more rounded combs that they build in well-hidden places, such as remote crevices or under decks. Since wasps and bumblebees have annual life cycles, they use their nests only for one year. Stings Both bees and wasps may sting in order to protect themselves and their colonies. All of them pump their venom into the skin with a stinger attached to their bodies. Wasps and bumblebees do not leave their stingers in the skin, therefore they can sting several times and do not hurt themselves. As for honeybees' stingers, they are barbed and when the honeybee tries to fly away after stinging it gets stuck in the human flesh. The stinger is torn from the honeybee's body and the bee dies from the injure as the stinger is attached to the bee's digestive system.

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