Bees and wasps all belong to the order Hymenoptera. They are also members of the suborder Apocrita, characterized by a common narrow waist. This waist is really a thin junction between the thorax and the abdomen, giving these insects a waist-like appearance.
Bees and wasps have other characteristics in common as well. They both have larvae which look like maggots, and have modified ovipositors which they use to sting and inject venom.
But where do the similiarities end? There are a few significant differences between bees and wasps. Refer to the table below to learn to what they are:
Differences Between Bees and Wasps
|Stinger||honeybee workers: stinger is pulled from bee’s abdomen and bee dies
other bees: live to sting again
|have backward-pointed barbs on stinger to penetrate victim||small barbs; stinger can be removed from victim; wasp lives to sting again|
|Body||rounder body, usually appears hairy||narrow junction between thorax and abdomen||usually slender and smooth|
|Legs||hairy||no significant similarities||few hairs|
|Food||feed on pollen and nectar||no significant similarities||predators or parasites of other insects, or scavengers|