Bees Vs Wasps

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Bees Vs Wasps


Now is the time of year we begin receiving calls about bees and wasps. The heightened activity of bees and wasps can be cause of concern if their nest is in or close to your home. Both bees and wasps can become aggressive if they feel threatened and even more so if they feel their nest is under threat.


Both bee and wasp queens are out on the hunt for food and for a good location to nest. This could be in a multitude of places in and around the home. Places like attics and wall cavities are popular in the home. In the garden, the perfect locations could be sheds, underground in old rodent nests or holes in trees. As the warmer weather approaches, it is natural for us humans to start tidying the garden ready for use, but by cutting back bushes and trees, we actually are removing some great potential sites for a colony of bees or wasps.


These social insects can often be confused with each other. Below are some differences to look out for when determining if you have a bee or wasp problem;


  • Shape
    • Bees are usually rounder in shape
    • Wasps are more cylindrical


  • Body & Legs
    • Bees bodies appear to be hairy or fluffy with thick hairy legs
    • Wasps have bodies and legs with a smooth, waxy appearance


  • Aggressiveness
    • Wasps are more aggressive than bees
      • Wasps tend to sting to kill their prey. They are easily provoked and can sting multiple times due to their smooth stinger. And to add insult to injury, if a wasp feels threatened or is harmed in some way, it will release a pheromone to signal to other wasps the target to attack
      • Bees use their stinger for defence only. Honeybees for example, die after stinging due to their stingers being barbed and so get stuck in the object they have stung


  •  Nests
    • Bees nests are usually bag shaped and are much larger that a wasp nest. This is due to the much larger colony size
    • Wasp nests are usually a round, ball like shape


It is important to remember that there are many different species of bees found in the UK which behave in different ways. When determining if you have a wasp or bee problem, we would recommend looking at the nest size and the aggressiveness of the insect. If in doubt, best practice is to call in a professional!