Bee or Wasp?
Even in these strange and uncertain times, we hope everyone had a great holiday and new years!
It has been hard to find time to write with all that's going on. Now that we're in the middle of Winter and a renewed lockdown, I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to differentiate the two insects: bees vs wasps.
Bees and sharks have a very misrepresented image. Media has portrayed these insects / animals to be a threat to us. In reality, sharks don't go out of their way to eat us nor do bees go out of their way to sting us. Bees are only aggressive towards us when they feel endangered by our presence. If left alone, bees won't bother you at all.
It's understandable that wasps are most commonly mistaken as bees. They're both black and yellow. However, there is one noticeable difference: bees have hair. The picture on the left shows the common wasp and common honey bee. These aren't the only wasps or bees in the wild. To name a few, there are paper wasps, mud wasps, bumble bees, carpenter bees and many many more!
Everyone's probably been annoyed by a wasp. If you've had a picnic in the park or a BBQ in the backyard, you have definitely been annoyed by the relentless buzzing of a wasp.
Why are wasps attracted to your fun filled event? Well, adult wasps are omnivores while the wasp larvae in the hive are carnivores. If you see them hovering around your chicken wings or mortadella sandwich, they're trying to either have a snack or bring protein back to the hive.
On the other hand, bees are herbivores. They only visit flowers for nectar and pollen. Here's a video I took when I was doing a hive inspection. I was holding the camera about two inches from the bees. See how they completely ignore me?
Fun fact: Did you know that in an average colony of 80,000 bees, only hundreds of those bees are male? All the other bees are female!
Although wasps are annoying, they still serve a purpose in our ecosystem. They help keep insect populations in check while also consuming dead insects or animals. Next time you see a black and yellow bug, take a second to see if it's a bee or a wasp. If it's fuzzy, then you have nothing to worry about.
- Issho Bakery