Did you know a yellow jacket actually is a wasp, not a bee? These insects look similar, but wasps are smooth while bees are hairy. Bees eat pollen and nectar while wasps eat insects, animals and sugary foods (including picnic snacks and soda). A wasp hive doesn’t produce honey and is made out of paper rather than wax.
Both yellow jackets and bees may sting to protect their colonies, but a wasp can sting many times (bees die after stinging only once). Never squash a yellow jacket. Doing so makes it release an alarm scent, alerting other yellow jackets to buzz toward you.
Wild facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, environmental outreach coordinator with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.