The key difference between honey bees and yellow jackets is that honey bees can sting only once while yellow jackets can sting multiple times without losing their life.
Honey bees and yellow jackets are two insect groups of the phylum Arthropoda. Yellow jackets belong to the genus Vespula while honey bees belong to genus Apis. Honey bees are nectar collectors and produce honey. Yellow jackets feed on insects and are beneficial predators.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Honey Bees
3. What are Yellow Jackets
4. Similarities Between Honey Bees and Yellow Jackets
5. Side by Side Comparison – Honey Bees vs Yellow Jackets in Tabular Form
What are Honey Bees?
Honey bees are members of the genus Apis. They produce and store honey. They also construct a colonial nest from beeswax. Furthermore, these bees are popular nectar collectors. They are participants of cross pollination in flowers since they feed on pollen.
Unlike yellow jackets, honey bees are gentle. In general, honey bees do not sting. However, they can sting when they are stepped on or swatted. They die after just one swing. Moreover, they don’t chase for a long distance. They defend the immediate area of the nest.
Who are Yellow Jackets?
Yellow jackets are a kind of wasps of the genus Vespula. ‘Yellow Jackets’ is just a common name used to refer to these predatory social wasps. They are visible in two colours: black and yellow. In fact, their bodies have yellow and black bands. Their bodies are skinny and shiny as well. These wasps are aggressive insects which always aim to sting. They can sting multiple times without losing their life, unlike honey bees.
Yellow jackets also have the ability to chase threats for a longer distance. They are not beneficial as pollinators. However, they work as beneficial predators of pest insects. They feed on other insects such as caterpillars, spiders, etc.
What are the Similarities Between Honey Bees and Yellow Jackets?
- Honey bees and yellow jackets are two groups of phylum Arthropoda.
- They can sting.
- Both posses colour bands in their bodies.
What is the Difference Between Honey Bees and Yellow Jackets?
Honey Bees vs Yellow Jackets
|Honey Bees are the members of the genus Apis that are popular as honey makers.||Yellow Jackets are a type of wasps that belong to the genus Vespula.|
|Brown and black banded pattern in the body||Yellow and black banded pattern in the body|
|Sting only once||Sting multiple times|
|Depend on nectar and pollen from flowers||Feed on insects|
|Defend the immediate area of the nest||Can chase people for a long distance|
|Relatively gentle||More aggressive|
|Nest mostly in tree trunk cavities||Often nest in underground holes|
|Fatter and appear hairy||Skinny, shiny and no noticeable hairs|
|Beneficial pollinators||Beneficial pest-insects predators|
Summary – Honey Bees vs Yellow Jackets
Honey bees and yellow jackets are two genera of phylum Arthropoda. Honey bees are important as pollinators and produce honey. They do not harm others unless they are stepped or swatted. They sting once and then die. In comparison, yellow jackets are a kind of wasps that feed on insects. Hence they are beneficial predators. They do not die after they sting. They are also able to sting multiple times. This is the difference between honey bees and yellow jackets.
1.“All About Yellow Jackets, Bees, Wasps & Hornets | Gardener’s Supply.” Gardeners Supply, Available here.
1. “Honey Bee on Willow Catkin (5419305106)” By Bob Peterson from North Palm Beach, Florida, Planet Earth! – Honey Bee on Willow CatkinUploaded by Jacopo Werther (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “How To Safely Photograph a Southern Yellowjacket” by Bob Peterson (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr