The Difference Between Honeybees and Yellow Jackets

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As natural food sources become scares, late summer into early fall, yellow jackets begin scavenging for food. This can lead to a considerable amount of yellow jackets nesting on your property. You may hear the tell-tale buzzing sound that will make you look around to locate their nesting site. But, is it really a yellow jacket? It could be a honeybee, or it could be a yellow jacket. It isn't always easy to tell the difference when they are flying around your head, but it is important to identify which stinging insect could be a potential health and property hazard.

What is the difference between honey bees and yellow jackets?


In general, honeybees will be looking for nectar for their nest and so will be flying around flowers to continue their work. Honeybees typically do not bother you, and so if you do see one flying around a flower, you can safely leave it to its work.

Yellow Jackets become scavengers as their colony increases due to a lack of food. The difference between honey bees and yellowjackets, yellow jackets will be attracted to your food and will become annoyed if you try to make them go away.


Yellow jackets nests are often underground or inside a protected area where their bare combs may be constructed. If they perceive a threat to the colony they will attack.

By comparison, the honeybee will nest in cavities such as tree trunks or beekeeping boxes. They will also defend a threat to their colony, but unlike yellow jackets, they will only chase in the immediate area of the nest.


Yellow jackets are fairly aggressive and will sting with little provocation. They have a stinger in a sheath in the abdomen that they can use to sting over and over again.

Honeybees are usually very gentle insects, they will not attack unless really provoked, usually if swatted or trampled. Unlike the yellow jacket, they can only sting once as the stinger and venom sac are torn out when they sting and they die. Honeybees will only sting as a last resort to protect their colony.


A swarm of yellow jackets can be the sign of an attack on their colony that they are defending. Yellow jackets can be aggressive, to avoid contact and a bee sting, contact a pest professional.

A honeybee swarm is usually very different. They are most likely seeking a new home as their nest has become too small. They will be docile and as they have no home, they will not be territorial. They can be observed from a distance with caution, but they are not a threat.

If you find that you have a problem with Yellow Jackets or Honeybees, then you should contact someone for Bee control Schenectady NY or Bee control Saratoga NY. Your local pest removal company like, Thomas Pest Services can advise you on the best course of action to get rid of bees and avoid an insect bite or sting. Get started today, contact your professional bee removal specialist.

Tags: honey bees  |  yellow jackets  |  stinging insect removal


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