One way to tell the difference between bees and hornets, yellow jackets and other wasps is appearance. Wasps, hornets and yellow jackets have a slender body that narrows at the waist area. They look like they are shiny and have a smooth body surface. Bees on the other hand are “plumper” than wasps. Bees are also hairier and their back legs are flatter. Bees have a pollen basket on their hind legs while wasps do not. The wasp has back legs that hang down during flight while you can’t see a bee’s back legs at this time. The stinger on a wasp is not barbed like the stinger on a bee.