No one likes to get stung, especially people who are allergic, but how can you protect yourself from bees, wasps and hornets? Learning to identify the insects that have flown into your life is the first step in protection and control. These tips will help you learn the difference between these stingers.


All bees have fuzzy bodies. That’s part of what distinguishes them from wasps and hornets. Honeybees are generally brown in color. Bumblebees are round usually have black and yellow stripes. Their robust middle makes them appear to not have a waist. Like their bodies, their wings are rounded rather than elongated and can be clear or darker.

All hornets are wasps, but not all wasps are hornets. They both have a smooth body without fuzz. They also have more elongated bodies than bees, although the wasp has a much smaller waist, giving it an hourglass figure. Wasps may be a variety of colors, but hornets are more easily confused with bees due to their slightly thicker middles and striped bodies. Longer wings fold back against their bodies when not in flight. Yellow jackets, with their yellow and black stripes, are a common type of wasp.


Bees are gatherers searching for pollen, so they will generally be found around flowers and blossoms. Their favorites are blue and yellow petals, but they also gather pollen from other colors of blooms. They aren’t aggressive to humans and will fly away if left alone.

Wasps and hornets are attracted to anything sweet, so they can be found around trash cans and garbage and anywhere with food and sugary drinks. They can be very aggressive toward people, taking a territorial approach to their finds.


Bees construct their homes out of wax. They like to build in trees and old wood in places that are protected from the elements and pesticides. They are found all across the United States.

Wasps build their nests out of paper or mud. They are prominent in the central and southern states and can be distinguished from hornet nests by their wide, umbrella shape. Hornets are not native to the United States but have been making their way to the East Coast because of the temperate climates. Their nests are also made out of a paper-like pulp, but hang from trees or eaves. Occasionally, yellow jackets, a type of wasp, build their nests in underground holes. If you’ve disturbed these nests while mowing or trimming weeds, the hornets will become very aggressive and sting multiple times.


The bee stinger is actually for stinging other bees. The reason bees usually die after stinging a human is because the stinger becomes stuck in the person’s skin, and the loss of the stinger kills the bee. Wasps and hornets are aggressive and use their stingers repeatedly for protection. They don’t dislodge and therefore don’t die after stinging.

If you find signs of any of these flying creatures, call the experts at YES Pest Pros, 800-524-8544, or visit our website at to see how easily we can rid your home and property of these winged stingers.