The Difference Between Bees, Hornets And Wasps

With the warmer weather comes the thought of barbecuing in the garden, children playing outside, picnics and family outings. However, fun moments with your family and friends can be ruined very quickly because a flying stinging insect decides to crash your party.

The most important thing to know when dealing with stinging insects is how to tell the difference between them. When you’re being surrounded by stinging insects, it’s not always possible to check the different colourings and size of the insects because of the frenzy of the situation.  What you can do is try to find their nest and check what it looks like. You can tell what kind of stinging insect you have on your property just by the shape of the nest, and what kind of material it looks like it’s made of.

Because it is important to know what insect is in your environment, here are the ways to tell if it’s bees, hornets, yellow jackets and wasps to help you tell the difference.


  • Pollinate flowers and crops.
  • Produce honey.
  • Will only be able to sting once before dying.
  • Around 30,000 to 80,000 bees in one colony.


  • Nests can be found above the ground.
  • Hornet nests are very large with around 700 hornets.
  • Nests look like they are made of paper.
  • Can sting around 3-5 times.

Yellow Jackets

  • Nests are usually the size of a football.
  • Nests are found near the ground or underground.
  • Can sting as much as they want.


  • Wasp nests look like they’re made from paper-mache.
  • Nests resemble an upside down umbrella.
  • Can sting multiple times.
  • Colonies can have 20-30 adult wasps.

You need to know that regardless of what type of stinging insect is bothering you, they will all become aggressive under certain circumstances. This is often because they feel their nest is threatened. Using over the counter wasp killer may work, but they will continue to attack even after being sprayed if they feel their nest is in danger. Therefore, this makes treating stinging insect nests by yourself incredibly dangerous.

To avoid the danger of having a stinging insect nest in your UK home or garden, it’s important to hire a professional pest controller because they know what they are doing. For London wasp control, call our office right now for emergency 24 hour pest control. We are experts in stinging insects and have the right chemicals, equipment and protective wear to keep your home and family safe from being stung this summer.