Bumblebee, Honey Bee or Wasp?

L-R: Bumblebee, Honeybee, Wasp


  • There are over 250 known species
  • Thick and furry body. Fat all around with yellow, orange, and/or black colouring.
  • Thick wings visible when landed.
  • Various sizes from 2-5cm.
  • Small nests of 5-500 members.
  • Bumblebees do not produce a honey surplus like honeybees.
  • Queens are the only bee to overwinter in hibernation.
  • Bumblebees are not aggressive and will only sting when the hive is threatened.
  • Bumblebee nests should be left undisturbed until the winter months when they will die out naturally.

For more information about Bumblebees go to:

Honey Bee

  • Honey bees represent only a small fraction of 20,000 known species of bees.
  • Small body, furry torso, sleek abdomen, and thin wings.
  • About 2.5cm in length
  • Colonies can contain as many as 25,000 bees.
  • Play a major role in pollination of flowers and crops.
  • Female ‘workers’ can sting only once, but the male ‘drones’ cannot sting at all
  • Produce a honey comb and honey surplus
  • Large portion of the colony overwinters with the queen
  • Honeybees will defend their hive but are generally calm and unaggressive – even when swarming


  • There are solitary wasps and social wasps
  • Social wasps exist in colonies numbering up to several thousand and build nests of chewed wood.
  • They can sting more than once.
  • They have few or no thickened hairs (in contrast to bees).
  • They are predators – mostly on other insects.
  • The vast majority of wasps play no role in pollination,
  • Although mainly carnivorous, they will steal nectar if they can by raiding honey bee colonies.
  • Only the queen survives the winter. For this reason wasps take longer to establish themselves in the spring.