Physical characteristics of bees vs wasps
Both bees and wasps have different body and leg structure.
Bees have hairy body and legs, whereas wasps have smooth bodies and legs. The abdomen and thorax of a bee is round, whereas in case of a wasp, it is cylindrical. Bees have flat and wide legs and wasps have rounds and waxy legs.
Differences in feeding habits
Bees are pollinators, which essentially means that they collect pollen and sip on nectar. They can be easily found in areas where there are flowers. Bees also drink water. They use water for cleaning their hive as well. The Queen bee eats Royal Jelly a special nectar-like substance that transforms them from a normal bee to a queen.
Wasps are usually predators who eat other insects such as caterpillars and flies. However, sometimes wasps sip on nectar too. They get attracted to the smell of human food, especially sugary beverages and beer.
Behavioral characteristics of bees vs wasps
When bees need to protect their hives or themselves, they use the poison in their stingers. They sting anyone who attempts to disturb their hives. The stinger of a honeybee is sharp and pointy. It stays in the skin after a person is stung. The stringer is ripped from the thorax of the bee and this stress eventually causes its death.
Wasps are more aggressive since they are usually predators. Unlike a bee, a wasp can easily be provoked. Sometimes it can sting you while trying to brush it away. The stinger of a wasp is smooth and easily comes out of the skin. When a wasp sees danger to it or the nest, it releases pheromones that alert its family, who will then come out and attack the person who has hurt it.
Neither wasps nor bees are generally aggressive. The only time they will aggressively try to sting you is if they are being closely handled against the skin, stepped on, or are defending their colonies or nests. There is a wide range of the intensity of a sting. For example, sweat bees have very mild stings, and males of some bee species may appear aggressive but are completely unable to sting. Honeybee stingers, while they can only sting once, can be nasty because they are barbed and remain in the skin with a venom sac attached. The ones to really watch out for are bumble bees and all wasps because they can sting multiple times, and their stingers do not detach and embed in skin.