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WILD facts: wasps vs. bees
1003 Bees
Bees eat pollen and nectar while wasps prefer insects and sugary food. - photo by Photo provided.

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.

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