Yellow Jacket Wasp on Green Leaf

The Difference Between Bees and Wasps

Both Sting But They’re Different

Many people confuse wasps and bees because they both pack a powerful sting. To a recipient of that sting, it sometimes just doesn’t matter what type of creature it came from. However, wasps and bees are different in the way they live as well as the way they attack. Wasps are close cousins to bees but behave in a much different manner. While both creatures are winged and can be a nuisance at outdoor gatherings or to your property, looking at the differences between the two can save you some hassle and some pain.


While wasps may look similar to the traditional bee, they don’t behave in the same manner. One of the key differences between wasps and bees is that wasps can sting multiple times. They’re also more aggressive than bees and will attack without necessarily being provoked. That means that if you encounter one, you could suffer several stings! Wasps also look a little different than bees as their bodies are slenderer and narrow at the waist. They’re also shiny with a smooth body surface. Wasps back legs also hang down as they’re in flight.

Baby wasps are carnivorous and feed on food captured by their parents while in the nest. Once they reach adulthood, they feed on nectar and fruit, much like their winged cousin the bee. Though they get a bad rap, they are technically beneficial to nature. Through their carnivorous ways they keep many insect populations in check around your property.

Wasps live in nests that they build out of saliva and wood pulp either on a structure or underground, depending on the variety of wasp. These are the paper-like nests that you find attached to your building or under your eaves. While these nests don’t necessarily compromise your structures, it does put your family at risk of stings. Wasps are beneficial to keeping insect populations down, but are aggressive and can be more of a bother than a help.


Bees tend to be less of a problem if they’re spotted at your property because once they sting you, they die. Their stinger is attached to a poison sac which is ripped from their body once it is used. The barbed stinger stays in your skin and the bee dies once it’s been removed. Bees look different than wasps in that their bodies are rounder and harrier. Additionally, you can’t see their legs when they’re in flight. The most common types of bees found around your property are likely honeybees, bumblebees, or carpenter bees. While all three kinds can be beneficial to your land through pollination, one kind in particular can be a hindrance.

Honeybees make their homes out of wax while bumblebees will claim empty burrows or openings in buildings home. Carpenter bees, however, make their own openings in buildings and structures to construct their homes. Just as the name suggests, carpenter bees love wood. That means they can burrow into the structure of your home, sheds, deck, or anything else made of wood which can eventually compromise it. Getting rid of or managing the number of carpenter bees at your property is crucial to save your structures.

What To Do

If you find that you have an infestation of carpenter bees or wasps at your home, it’s time to call in the professionals. While there are DIY remedies that you could try, they seldom get the job done. If you let an infestation of carpenter bees go for several seasons, you may find yourself with thousands of dollars in repairs to the structures on your property. And if you find that you have lots of wasps around, you need to get help. Wasps can be dangerous, especially to those who are allergic to stings. While both these creatures can provide benefits to your property, you have to weigh the risks of each.

If you have questions about how to handle an infestation of wasps, bees, or any other pesky creature, contact Impact today and let us help!