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Difference Between Honeybees, Wasps, and Hornets

Summers are here, and the hibernated insects are coming out to explore this world and to reproduce. Different flying and creeping insects are commonly found everywhere after the end of long, dry winters. Honeybees, wasps, and hornets are among the top flying pests you will have to face.

However, you cannot easily distinguish them, as you cannot go near them due to their aggressive behavior and painful stings. But the main question is, why do you even need to find the between them? The answer is simple, as you have to keep them away, you must know who they are to do so.

You first try some home remedies to get rid of pests. However, the best thing is to call pest exterminators. Using pest exterminator sprays can also do the job. However, for that purpose, you must know which type of pest you are using. Therefore, you must know the difference between honeybees, wasps, and hornets.

Following are the critical differences between them.

The difference in Their Appearance

The first difference between honeybees, wasps, and hornets is in their physical appearance. Bees are usually furred as tiny hairs are present over their bodies. These hairs maintain their temperature as well as help in pollination. Common honeybees have striped colors. Their body sizes depend upon the type they belong with.

Wasps are usually confused with honeybees due to their striped coloring. However, they have smooth bodies without any hair. Their abdomen is not very wide, and they have a narrow waist.

Hornets have more slender bodies than wasps and honeybees. Their color patterns are black and yellow or white and black. Their black and yellow color contrast can make you think of them as honeybees. However, the yellow color of bees is brighter than that of hornets.

The difference in Their Diets

Honeybees are purely vegan. They eat the pollen grains and nectar of flowers and fruits. During winters, when there is a shortage of food for them, honeybees also use honey to live.

Wasps can eat both vegan and non-vegan things, which means they are omnivorous. Along with nectar and pollen, they also eat caterpillars and flies. It is pretty beneficial, as they maintain the population of these insects.

Hornets are omnivorous too, but their vegan portion consists only of wood sap. Bees, flies, and other insects are its non-vegan diet.

The difference in Their Stinging Behaviors

Honeybees, wasps, and hornets exhibit different stinging and biting behaviors. Honeybees don’t show very aggressive behavior and let you go unless you disturb them. They will sting you when they feel you are disturbing their territory. Queen honeybee can sting you many times. However, normal honeybees will sting you only once as their stings remain in your body.

Wasps show some more aggressive behavior as compared to bees. They sometimes sting you without any reason. However, their sting is sharper and smoother than bees. Therefore it easily pierces through your skin. So they can sting you again and again.

Hornets are usually calmer and more composed than bees and wasps. However, when they feel a threat, they become more aggressive than wasps. They can attack you multiple times as they have a retractable sting.

The Difference in Their Nesting Patterns

Honeybees make their nests on trees or sometimes on ceilings or walls. Worker honeybees make nests and store honey in them. Queen lays eggs in this nest. Their nests are called hives.

Wasps’ nests are made up of waxy material and don’t contain any honey or something similar. Their nests are dried and serve as a shelter to live and reproduce. They commonly build nests on trees and ceilings. However, small cavities in walls and grounds are also the best location for their nests.

Hornets make their nest in winters to survive the harsh season. They use the wood pulp to form their nests. Therefore tree trunk is the best location for their nests. Queen makes the whole nest by itself and lays eggs in it.


You can hire some experts for wasps, honeybees, hornets, and ant control in Richmond or the place where you live. Knowing the difference between wasps, hornets, and honeybees will help you to recognize them and hire the right pest exterminator service. Make sure to hire the best services to get long-term solutions.

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