The Differences Between Bees, Wasps, and Hornets

To the untrained eye, bees, wasps, and hornets may appear to be the same insect, however, they’re each different in many ways. One important note is that all hornets are wasps, but not all wasps are hornets. All of these insects are essential to our planet’s ecosystem, so if you’re looking to remove them from your home or get them off your property, you should hire a pest control specialist that will deal with them ethically. In this article, we’ll go over the main differences between bees, wasps, and hornets and let you in on some tricks that can help you tell them apart.


One big difference between these insects is that bees are vegetarians, while wasps and hornets are carnivores. Bees feed on pollen and nectar, which is why they’re essential to our ecosystem: because they act as pollinators for all kinds of plant life. Another big difference between these insects is that bees can only sting once in their lifetime, while wasps and hornets can sting their enemies over and over again. If you’re looking to identify a bee, they often have a wide, hairy body and stumpy legs. Unless bees are causing you serious problems, you should leave them alone because they’re an essential part of our planet’s health.


Unlike bees, wasps are carnivores – meaning they feed on other insects. One common form of wasp we often see is yellowjackets. Wasps can live in nests both above and below ground. These insects’ main benefit to our environment is that they help control the population of other insects like caterpillars, grubs, grasshoppers, flies, and spiders. As mentioned above, wasps can sting their targets many times, while bees can only sting once. So, if you run into an angry wasp, you could be in for one or more painful stings. Most wasps are skinny and hairless, while bees are usually furry.


All hornets are technically wasps, but not all wasps are hornets – similar to how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. Here in the United States, we have no native hornets. Each hornet that now lives here was somehow brought here at some point in time. For example, the European Hornet, probably the most common hornet in the USA, was brought to the country in the mid-1800s. Hornets are beneficial for the same reasons as other wasps because they help control the insect population. Hornets are usually larger than most bees and wasps and can be a variety of different colors depending on the species. 

Contact Pied Piper Pest Control!

If you’re having a problem with bees, wasps, or hornets on your greater New Orleans property, don’t hesitate to contact Pied Piper Pest Control! We provide expert pest control solutions for a variety of different pests in the New Orleans area. Contact us today by calling us at (504) 366-1333 or by filling out the contact form on our website!

The Differences Between Bees, Wasps, and Hornets