Bees, Hornets and Wasps

Posted on June 24, 2008  Comments (1)

Photo of a bee by Justin Hunter

Bee vs. Hornet vs. Wasp

A bee can generally only sting you once, while hornets and wasps can sting multiple times.

Bees are fuzzy pollen collectors that almost always die shortly after stinging people (because the stinger becomes embedded in the skin, which prevents multiple stings). Bees don’t die each time they sting, though; the primary purpose of the stinger is to sting other bees, which doesn’t result in the loss of the stinger.

Wasps are members of the family Vespidae, which includes yellow jackets and hornets. Wasps generally have two pairs of wings and are definitely not fuzzy. Only the females have stingers, but they can sting people repeatedly.

Hornets are a small subset of wasps not native to North America (the yellow jacket is not truly a hornet). Somewhat fatter around the middle than your average wasp, the European hornet is now widespread on the East Coast of the U.S. Like other wasps, hornets can sting over and over again and can be extremely aggressive.

Photo by Justin Hunter

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One Response to “Bees, Hornets and Wasps”

  1. Sergey Smirnov
    January 24th, 2009 @ 8:37 am

    I would like to mention that the bees live in a great community, and wasps and shershni live alone…

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