What's the Difference: Bees, Wasps, Hornets and Yellow Jackets

What’s the Difference? Bees, Wasps, Hornets and Yellow Jackets

Bees, wasps, hornets and yellow Jackets - What's the difference
















My husband went for a bike ride yesterday and about 7 miles into his ride (can you see where this is headed…did you read the title?)  he got stung right in the face!  I’m surprised it didn’t knock him off his bike!  After flicking the stinger out of his face, some very nice people at the park offered to help with a first aid kit, in case he was allergic, which thank goodness he’s not!  He discovered that little fact a couple of years ago when he was out mowing the lawn (can you see where this is headed?) and he ran over a nest of yellow jackets and was stung 14 times!  He rode home with a slightly puffy eye and after icing it down he commented that the bee had it worse off than him, because it’s probably dead by now.  I assumed a yellow jacket stung him, those I thought, were always the most aggressive with stinging.  I was curious, so, off to do some research.

Yellow Jacket/Hornet/Paper Wasp

Yellow jackets aren’t bees, they are more similar to wasps.  They are a part of the family Vespidae.  The Vespid wasp family includes paper wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets.  These insects are very aggressive and are very protective of their home.  The Vespid wasps do not lose their stinger after they sting you, so they can sting more than once!  Be careful because yellow jackets also bite!

Honey bee

Honey bees on the other hand usually don’t like to sting, they prefer to go about their own business. However, when they are forced to sting, their stinger gets stuck in your skin and their whole sting apparatus is pulled out.  This causes their abdomen to rupture, killing the honeybee.


Bumblebees, like honey bees, don’t like to sting.  However, they do not lose their stinger after stinging and therefore can sting more than once.

If you have any bee/hornet/yellow jacket problems around your house, we would love to help you out.  We have two locations to be able to serve you better.
Griffin (770)227-5161
Dacula (770)962-4240


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