What’s the difference between bees, wasps, and hornets?

Bees, wasps, and hornets might look similar, but they have some pretty significant distinctions that vary from product to product. These insects bite and sting in different ways and carry different risks to allergic or otherwise sensitive humans. You’ll find all the information you need about these bugs, including the differences between bees, wasps, and hornets – with a few tips on avoiding getting stung!

Bee vs. Wasp vs. Hornet

We all know that bees, wasps, and hornets are all flying, stinging insects. But what’s the difference between them? Here’s a quick rundown:

Bees are covered in hair, which they use to collect pollen. They live in hives and make honey.

Wasps are predators that eat other insects. They don’t have hairs like bees, but they do have a stinger.

Hornets are a type of wasp. They’re larger than most wasps, and their sting is more painful.


Bees are flying insects known for their role in pollination and producing honey. Wasps are also flying insects, but they’re predators that eat other insects. Hornets are a larger and more aggressive type of wasp than other types of wasps.

All three insects can sting, but bees typically only sting when they feel threatened. Wasps and hornets, on the other hand, can be more aggressive and may sting even when they’re not feeling threatened.

Life Span

Bees, wasps, and hornets all have different life spans. Bees generally live for around 6 weeks, while wasps can live for up to 12 months. Hornets have the longest lifespan of the three, living up to 2 years.


Bees are vegetarians who feast on nectar and pollen when it comes to diet. Wasps, on the other hand, are predators that hunt other insects to feed themselves and their young. Hornets fall somewhere in between, as they will eat both nectar and other insects.

Nesting Habits

One of the most noticeable differences is their nesting habits when it comes to bees, wasps, and hornets. Bees are known for building intricate hives out of wax, while wasps and hornets typically build their nests out of chewed-up wood. This difference in nesting habits can also be seen in how these insects care for their young. Bees will work together to build a hive containing cells for their larvae, whereas wasps and hornets will build individual nests for each young.

Proximity to Humans

Bees, wasps, and hornets all have different levels of proximity to humans. Bees are the most proximate, as they are vital in pollinating crops. Wasps are less proximate, as they are often considered pests. Hornets are the least proximate, as they are typically only aggressive if provoked.

Wasps in the News

There’s been a lot of buzz in the news lately about wasps. Here’s what you need to know about these often misunderstood insects.

Wasps are a group of insects that includes bees and hornets. Like bees, wasps are important pollinators. They are also predators of other insects, making them valuable in controlling pests.

Despite their many positive qualities, wasps can be dangerous to humans. Their sting can be painful and, in some cases, cause an allergic reaction. It’s important to be aware of wasps when you’re outdoors and take precautions to avoid being stung.

If you do find yourself face-to-face with a wasp, don’t panic. Usually, if you stay still, the wasp will fly away. If it does sting you, seek medical attention immediately if you have any concerns about your reaction.


Hopefully, the article has helped you understand the key differences between bees, wasps, and hornets. All three of these insects can be beneficial to ecosystems, but they also have the potential to sting humans and cause allergic reactions. It is essential to identify each type of insect so that you can take the appropriate precautions when necessary.

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