Yellow jacket vs Bee Best 10 Main Differences Explained

Yellow jacket vs Bee

The yellowjackets are stinging insects, with a golden brown, slender body and a thin waist. They do not possess a fuzzy body. The yellowjackets are small carnivores digging out yellow jacket nests underground to eat the pupal wasps and tasty larvae. The Yellowjacket nests consist of multiple layers of paper cells that appear like honey bees comb.

The yellow jackets and paper wasps are both black and bright yellow-colored, having a similar striped pattern. The yellow jacket colony contains males (drones), queens, and workers. The aggressive yellowjackets can both bite and sting. They attack and inflict painful stings if they feel threatened. The yellowjackets can sting multiple times. In the spring, the yellowjackets get emerge from their winter dormancy. The yellowjackets are good at eating caterpillars and other pests on the plants if you have a garden in your community. 

On the other hand, the honey bee has flat hind legs for carrying pollen, wide wings, and fuzzy hairs over their bodies. The honeybees feed their larvae bee bread. The honey bees possess a barbed stinger attached to their digestive system, stinging only once. The honey bees don’t sting repeatedly like other insects or other wasps.

The honey bees are also not a highly aggressive species. The honey bee colony consists of a queen, beekeepers, and drones. The beekeeper keeps bees in order to collect pollen, honey, and other products. The honey bees feed on pollen and nectar, which they extract from different flowering plants. They also hunt flies, spiders, soft-bodied invertebrates, caterpillars, and other animals. 

Although both yellowjackets and honey bees look similar, differences between hornets, wasps, and honey bees also exist. For example, both honey bees and yellow jackets possess large colonies. The honey bees and yellow jackets build their nests inside the wall voids. Both species require flowers for pollination.

The yellow jackets may hover around the hive of honey bees, trying to gang up on the worker bees that are protecting their homes. However, the yellow jackets win if the honeybee colony is weak. The difference between honey bees and wasps is that the wasp does not overwinter, unlike honey bees.

Yellow jacket vs bee

There are many ways to get rid of these stinging insects and wasps. Therefore, a pest control professional is required in case of dangerous Yellowjacket nests. As no one likes being stung, these fascinating insects require great respect like everything else on the earth’s surface. People still confuse these creatures, despite all these facts. There is no need to worry as this blog post provides exciting facts and information about these tiny creatures to clear people’s minds, as mentioned below;

Yellow Jacket


  • The yellow jackets are bee-sized social wasps that possess yellow-colored banding around their abdomens and are black-colored with yellow-colored markings on the front of their heads. In addition to it, a yellow-colored face with dark eyes is present. The three major body parts are the thorax, head, and abdomen. 
  • The bees possess short and thick bodies covered with hair, three body parts i.e., head, thorax, and abdomen, and six legs, like all insects. The thorax further has three main segments, each with one pair of legs. In addition to it, the abdomen and thorax are connected by a tiny waist. Only females have stingers. 
  • The yellow jackets are present in all countries throughout the world, especially in southeastern states and North America. These tiny creatures are also incredibly native to habitats, such as urban, suburban, and rural settings, grasslands, meadows, forest edges, city areas, and farms. They love to build nests in all suitable environments. 
  • The bees are also present worldwide, like yellow jackets, including Philippines, Southeast, and South Asia. They are not present in Antarctica. These tiny creatures are native to other habitats, such as domesticated or natural environments, meadows, orchards, gardens, woodlands, and other places where flowering plants are present. 
  • The yellow jackets grow from about 3/8th to 5/8th of an inch in body length. They are usually smaller than wasps, looking stockier than wasp species. However, the yellow jacket queen is about 0.75 inches long, with alternating bands of various colors on the abdomen. 
  • The bees possess a body length of about 0.08 to 1.6 inches or 2 millimeter to 4 centimeters. These tiny creatures are medium, light, and heavy. However, the medium bee weighs about 0.185 grams, while the light queen bee has an average weight of 0.186 grams. 
  • The yellow jackets require a proper diet to survive on the earth’s surface. They are carnivorous, meaning they eat meat, and other insects. For example, bees, flies, etc. Their primary diet includes carrion, fruits, picnic fare, and the nectar of flowers. 
  • The bees also need proper food, like other animals, to survive. In addition to this, the honey bee collects nectar and pollen from a variety of flowering plants, such as goldenrod, clover, dandelions, milkweed, and various fruit trees. 
  • The yellow jackets communicate with each other using two primary methods; with the release of pheromones or with their antennae. In contrast to it, the wasps use their complex antennae to touch, hear and smell. 
  • The bees communicate with each other using odor cues called pheromones. They have a unique form of communication known as the waggle dance. It is considered a highly symbolic method. 
  • The yellow jackets become aggressive if they are disturbed or threatened. These tiny creatures ting repeatedly. It can be dangerous or life-threatening to people who are allergic to it. They are considered more aggressive than other insects, such as hornets, bees, daubers, and wasps. 
  • The bees show aggressive behavior only when they feel disturbed or threatened. Additionally, these tiny creatures sting, showing aggression. The other disturbances causing bees’ anger are carbon dioxide, dark colors, and vibrations. They also defend their homes like humans. 
  • The nest of yellow jackets starts with a single, fertilized female queen, beginning a proper nest and laying eggs in the cells. The queens are the nursemaids for the first batch of their larvae, feeding and grooming them. The larvae of the yellow jacket pupate in the cell for further growth. 
  • Most animals on the earth’s surface reproduce sexually, meaning both females and males are required for normal reproduction. Similarly, the female bees produce new offspring and lay eggs that have been fertilized by sperms from male drones. They mate and also lay eggs.  
  • The yellow jackets live for a specific time, after which they die. For example, the workers have an average lifespan of about 10 to 22 days. In contrast to it, the yellow jacket queens live for almost 12 months. 
  • The bees also live for a specific time, like other species on the earth’s surface, after which death occurs. For example, workers live for 20 weeks in the winter and two to six weeks in the summer, while honey bees live for 5 years. 
  • Many animals prey on the yellow jackets. For example, many small mammals, including skunks, bears, and other insects, make a large percentage of their food. Depending on where you live, badgers, shrews, and moles also eat yellow jacket species on the nests. 
  • The bees are also preyed on by different animals on the earth’s surface. For example, their primary predators are hive beetles, birds, bears, skunks, and other animals. Skunks are insectivores, feeding mainly on insects. 
  • According to International Union for Conservation of Nature, the eastern yellow jacket is found in a greater amount and is in no danger of becoming endangered. 
  • According to International Union for Conservation of Nature, the bees are becoming extinct and considered endangered due to habitat loss, cell phones, and parasites. 


Sometimes people get confused and raise questions about the yellow jacket vs bee to clear their minds. Therefore, the answers to some of those raised questions are as mentioned below;

Are yellow jackets and bees same?

Although their black and yellow stripes are the same as bees, the yellow jacket species are not considered bees. Despite it, these tiny creatures are wasps and differ from bees in various ways. The bodies of bees are rounder and fuzzier in shape, and yellow jacket bodies are thinner and smoother. 

Are yellow jackets smart?

The yellow jackets are considered smart tiny creatures. But they are not social and friendly when humans are around. These creatures build their nests in cavities, such as within the walls of buildings or abandoned burrows. 

Can honey bee sting?

The honey bee stings only once, unlike yellowjackets. They do not sting multiple times, like yellow jackets. These creatures only sting if they feel disturbed or threatened. Most honey bees are not aggressive but are offensive. 


Various plants and animals are present worldwide, all possessing unique identification characters discriminating against them. The same is the case with the yellow jackets and bees. Although both are similar, differences also exist. But people still confuse them. There is no need to worry as this blog post provides exciting facts and information about these tiny creatures to clear people’ minds. It will help greatly if you read this article with great care and pay full attention. 

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