Bees and Wasps: Shape, Feeding, Nests and the Sting…

Let’s look at some of the differences between the bee and wasp.
Body Shape:

  • Bees have robust, hairy bodies with flat rear legs.
  • Wasps‘ bodies are slender with a narrow waist connecting the thorax and abdomen and appear smooth and shiny and have slender legs shaped like cylinders.


  • Bees are pollinators, spending much of their lives visiting various plants and flowers to gather and distribute pollen. They also feed nectar and pollen to their developing young. Their hairy bodies and flat legs are ideal for holding on to the pollen as they carry it from one area to another.
  • Wasps, however, are predators. While adults may occasionally feed on nectar or pollen, they feed insects, arthropods, flies and even caterpillars to their young. Their bodies are sleeker and more streamlined for hunting.


  • Bees build their nests out of wax cells that they stack on top of one another. Most honeybee nests are manufactured, but other bees make their homes in tree cavities, buildings or even holes in the ground.
  • A wasp’s nest consists of one or more rounded combs made of a papery pulp. The wasp makes this pulp out of chewed-up fibers and its own saliva. Wasps tend to build in hidden, out of the way places, like under decks or in remote crevices.

Do they die after they sting you?

  • Both bees and wasps inject their venom with a stinger attached to their bodies.
  • Wasps and most bees can pump the venom into your skin, remove the stinger and then fly away.
  • The honeybee’s stinger, however, is barbed and it sticks in your flesh. When the honeybee tries to fly away, her stinger won’t budge. Instead, it rips from her body. Since the stinger is attached to the honeybee’s digestive system, she eventually dies from the trauma.

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