Wasp vs. Bee
October 21, 2021 • Category: General Beekeeping
During the late summer and into the fall we get a lot of calls, "I have bees in my house. Can you come get them?"
The poor honey bee gets a bad wrap. Every insect which remotely looks like a bee and stings is called a bee. Honey bees are relatively docile when it comes to stinging. They only get to sting once and then they die. There's not much motive to be a jerky, nasty, stinging insect - like wasps.
The yellow jacket is a wasp of the order vespidae. They are predatory. Their mouth parts are made for capturing and chewing insects. They can sting many times.
They honey bee is of the order hymenoptera. They are beneficial pollinators. Their mouthparts are not made for eating other insects. They can only sting once.
Here is a key difference. Honey bees ramp up their breeding in the spring. They need to gather nectar and pollen. They will swarm in the spring. If you see a swarm in the spring call a beekeeper. They love free bees.
Wasps ramp up their breeding in the late summer. They primarily eat other insects and do gather a little nectar. You might see the paper nest. You might disturb those that nest in the ground. Or you might see them in your house because they found a small hole to get in. Call an exterminator.
If you call us in the fall we will say, "I know it may be scary but take a picture of it and text it to us. We'll tell you if it it a bee or wasp. If it has yellow legs, kill them."