Informative Essay On Wasps Vs Bees

Decent Essays
It’s summer, and there you are, drinking a refreshing beverage in the great outdoors when suddenly you hear a buzz, see a flash of yellow and black… and yaow! … you’ve been stung.

Was it a bee? Or a wasp? Maybe a hornet, or yellowjacket?

If you didn’t get a good look at the tiny assassin, you could always -- you know, carefully -- try following it home, because it turns out you can learn a lot about a winged stinger by looking at it’s nest.

But before we get into why that is, I want to talk a little bit about wasps versus bees.

First up, you should know that yellowjackets and hornets are basically types of wasps. They’re all members of the Vespidae family, which includes a lot of solitary species, but also social nest-building types.
…show more content…
Because pollen is nutritious and full of protein, those wasps realized they were on to something. Eventually some of them gave up hunting entirely and switched to foraging, turning in their chewing mouthparts for nectar-sipping ones, and becoming the first bees.

Many of the anatomical and behavioral differences between bees and wasps we see today reflect these food choices.

In general, bees are less aggressive, more rotund in shape, and covered in a fuzz that helps them collect pollen. Wasps, on the other hand, are shiny, smooth, and slender-waisted, with big mandibles and elongated bodies streamlined for better hunting.

A warrior female wasp can sting sting you over and over with her modified ovipositor stinger, whereas a bee only gets one shot to nail you before her stinger gets stuck, and basically rips her guts out as she flies away.

Okay, so let’s talk about how all that stuff plays out into terms of building
…show more content…
Honeybees couldn’t make their hives out of paper even if they wanted to, because they lack the proper mouthparts, but that’s cool because they have way better building materials on hand.

They secrete a durable, waxy substance from their abdomens and with it construct the hexagonal honeycomb cells they use to store honey and pollen, and raise larvae.

These hives are sturdy and perennial. They’re built to last for years, and even when one becomes overcrowded and half the colony leaves to start a new hive, the rest remain, many of them overwintering in the hive.

And honey bee colonies are huge -- supporting tens of thousands of members, in part because it takes that many to accumulate the estimated 60 pounds of honey they’ll need to get through the winter.

Most wasp colonies tend to be a lot smaller, and some paper wasp nests hold fewer than 100 individuals. Aside from the queen, wasps may only live a few weeks, and as predators they don’t really store food for any real length of time.
Basically their nests need only provide shelter for a season’s worth of offspring, at least in temperate areas, and they don’t need to and often can’t build the kind of hive that keeps bees safe and well-fed throughout the
Get Access