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Bees, Wasps and Hornets

Hello all,

I decided it was high time that I tried to learn the difference between the different types of bee and learn a bit more about wasps, hornets etc.

Oh my goodness! I had no idea just how many different varieties of each there are! I've just filled up an hour and a half of my time just looking at different images and trying to take in some of the information I was faced with.

Bumble bees - I think I'm largely ok now, although I've managed to reach the grand old age of 46 without realising that a Bumble Bee wont die after it stings you!

Honey bees - I'm still wading my way through but I learned some things. Like the fact that they die after they sting you!

Wasps - urgh! Nothing endearing about them whatsoever. I don't like them. Never will. Malevalent little horrors. Just looking at the pictures gives me the eebee geebees to be quite honest. They do look an awful lot like a honey bee though on a quick glance so I'll have to look a bit harder.

Still can't see the obvious differences between a Wasp and a Leatherjacket Wasp and I can't tell the difference between a Wasp and a Hornet yet either.

I guess I'll have to keep on looking and reading but to anyone that's already got to grips with all of this, I am applauding you.



  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    What about learning about hoverflies too? I'm amazed how many people see a hoverfly and think it's a wasp!

  • If you see a hornet you'll know it's not a wasp. They are scarily huge but apparently are gentle giants (and eat wasps!). We had a couple of hornets in our wasp trap last year which was a bit sad. (And yes I know wasps are goodies too and eat aphids but there were so many last year and I did want to keep some of the plums for myself).

  • ImpHostaImpHosta Posts: 56

    Thought I'd teach myself the differences, found this pretty useful!



  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Wasps do a lot of pollinating too.  It is only later in the year they are a pest.

    You are also a lot bigger than they are!  Learn to love them.

  • Sorry Welshonion no can do. I just cannot learn to love wasps. I'm not comfortable with Bees to be honest although they just make me nervous,  I don't dislike them.  I think I'm too old to learn to love wasps, they're aggressive little things that always make a bee line for my face! But I do acknowledge that if I'm going to move into their environment I co exist with them I have to learn to understand them. Will that do?! imageimage

  • Smiffy G. Thanks for the link I'll definitely have a look. 

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Too old - at 46!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Shame on you.  You're only half way.

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Singing Gardener - I am soooo with you about hornets!!!  When I saw one for the first time, while hanging out of an upstairs bedroom window, I was terrified.  If you see a picture of one, it will look like a wasp, but if you see one in real life, it's like a wasp on steroids - no wasp was ever that big.  It's all about the scale. 

    For anyone who doesn't like wasps, I would recommend bee-keeping.  Firstly, you kind of get acclimatised to the buzz, and secondly, when you lift the lid on the hive in summer, and the wasps fly in, you know that they will be toast.  Also, watching the guard bees go for them at the front of the hive is strangely satisfying - there is usually a little collection of half-wasps below the entrance to the hive. 


  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    My older brother had an allergic reaction to a sting and but for the quick response by paramedics may not be here to tell the tale. He carried, I think, it was adrenilin injections around for a while afterwards.

    After researching it on the internet, your body builds up a resistasnce to stings. He's remarkable calm around bee's/wasps now. I'm a tab bit nervous around them but am happy to let them be if they are doing their bit pollinating plants. It's a different story if one approaches food on the patio,then I'm the first indoorsimage.

    What a good posting, I didn't know that about bumble bee's either...Zoomer had  put them in the same fear bracket as wasps...image 

  • Welshionion image

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