The Difference Between Bees And Wasps

Thursday 3rd August 2023

Ellen Warren

No comments, yet!

A honeybee on the left and a wasp on the right

CONTENTS

When the warm weather rolls in, it is time for insects to leave hibernation and begin the pollination cycle. The planet's ecosystem relies heavily on pollinators like bees, butterflies, and beetles, so protecting bees and differentiating them from wasps is integral.

ICE Cleaning offers various service lines like pest control, where our technicians will effectively eradicate invasive insects including wasps. We employ several methods of wasp nest removal depending on the circumstances and aim to achieve a non-destructive elimination.

Read on to learn about the difference between wasps and bees.

When do bees and wasps start to appear?

One of the main reasons why bees are mistaken for wasps so often is the time of year when these insects come out. Unfortunately, bees and wasps share a similar life cycle, where they emerge from the start of spring to the beginning of autumn.

You usually see more bees and wasps in the peak of summer from June to August, but this depends on the temperature and local wildflowers. As soon as the temperatures drop, these insects will either go into hibernation or die from the cold temperatures.

How to tell the difference between bees and wasps

Bees and wasps are often mistaken for one another due to their body shape and colour, but they can be identified easily. Wasps and honeybees share some similarities in body shape, but their colours are different upon observation.

A wasp's body will have bright yellow and black bands around its abdomen and a very narrow waist. Honeybees have a similar waist, but their abdomens are more rounded and larger, with light brown and black stripes. Bees have visible hair, whereas wasps are shiny and almost hairless.

Other species of bees like masonry and bumble bees are easier to identify apart from wasps. They are fuzzy in appearance with shorter bodies and thick legs, especially bumblebees which are very rounded and hairy with only one or two yellow bands.

How to identify bees and wasps’ nests

Wasps build their nests very differently from bees, which makes them easier to identify by the nests they return to. Although both species build their nests in hidden and secure areas, wasps can be destructive when they nest and settle down.

Honeybees usually build their nests in hidden areas like rock cavities and hollowed trees, and when exposed, they are slim, waxy combs. Bumblebees, however, create their nests underground near long grass or in abandoned mouse holes.

However, wasps favour manmade structures for their nesting grounds. Their nests can be found in sheds, garages, lofts, and underground. Where bees have a waxy texture to their nests, wasp nests look like paper balloons that are grey in colour.

The risks of nests on your property

The likelihood of a bee colony nesting on your property or inside your house is small. However, if you spot bees or wasps flying into your home through a hidden alcove, there may be a risk to you.

If bees nest in your home, the wax and honey will eventually cause structural damage, staining the surfaces and attracting pests due to the sweet smells. If bumblebees are present, they usually pose no threat as their nests are temporary and they will in time move on.

Wasps are destructive when they build their colony and nest. They create their hives by chewing wood, plasterboard, insulation, and polystyrene. As their colony increases, the nest will grow, and the wasps will chew through structural materials and expand.

If wasps have nested in your home, they will cause damage to the structure by chewing through various materials to expand the nest. This can lead to permanent structural damage and lowered energy efficiency, potentially deteriorating a property.

How to prevent wasps and bees from nesting

It can be difficult to prevent these insects from nesting on your property, especially if local bees are favouring your plant life for pollination. It is generally encouraged to plant wildflowers on your property to boost pollination, but this may attract honeybees or bumblebees.

Firstly, you should inspect the entirety of your property, both outdoors and indoors. It is integral that you identify any vulnerabilities in your building and do the following:

  • Seal any openings or holes around the exterior of your home with caulk or putty
  • Fill any holes in the garden with dirt or rocks
  • Cover compost bins, dustbins, and recycling bins
  • Keep water buckets and pool pumps closed
  • Clean up after yourself if you eat outside
  • Remove fruit from the trees or ground immediately

What to do if you spot bees or wasps

Keep your distance if you see a cluster of bees – a swarm – or a nest on your property in an unsafe place, and contact an ethical bee removal company. Swarming bees are docile, but active bees in their hive may try to sting you to protect their brood and resources.

Do not hire a pest removal service for bees, as they are important pollinators and endangered. Instead, you should contact the British Beekeepers Association for swarm removal or a local bee relocation service for removing a nest. Ensure that these companies are ethical and intend to relocate instead of kill.

For wasps, you should not try to destroy the nest yourself. Wasps are more aggressive than bees and can sting more than once, causing swelling and pain. You should contact a pest removal service that specialises in wasp removal and help you in preventing their return.

Get in touch

At ICE Cleaning, we offer excellent pest control services where we can identify and remove a wasp nest efficiently with state-of-the-art technology. Our technicians are equipped to handle the dangers of a wasp infestation, effectively removing all traces of the nest and any wasps remaining.

If you would like to learn more about our pest control service lines, please get in touch with us today at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. We operate 24/7, and we can send a technician to your location in a matter of hours in an emergency, including bank holidays.

Comment
Reilly Peters

Reilly Peters

Business Development Manager

Add to contacts

Speak with me today,
I’m here to help

By asking you a few questions either via phone or email I can immediately provide a realistic estimation of the cost.

You’re in good company. We’ve cleaned for the following commercial clients… View all

Customer reviews

Our happy customers have rated our service as
4.9 on Google.

View All Reviews

Sue Sullivan

Star Star Star Star Star

6 months ago

Ice did a brilliant job and I would highly recommend them. Reilly in the office booked everything in and was most helpful, and then Harry came and…

Read more

Posted on Google

John Hatswell

Star Star Star Star Star

7 months ago

We had a pressing need to address concerns regarding a clean up of a Trauma site. Ice Services and Zoe were responsive, informative and professional.…

Read more

Posted on Google

Eddie Mack

Star Star Star Star Star

8 months ago

I’ve used ICE Cleaning a few times and the service has been absolutely terrific. Paul Gimenez was incredibly helpful and dealt with everything…

Read more

Posted on Google

Martha Sparkes

Star Star Star Star Star

8 months ago

Power cleaned my external brick walls and look very good. They were punctual, hard working and respectful. I would recommend them with no hesitation.

Read more

Posted on Google

Simon Nicholson

Star Star Star Star Star

9 months ago

Booked ICE Cleaning at short notice to help with the clean-up of our outdoor Event Site in Central London. Whilst they were unable to assist with our…

Read more

Posted on Google

Kim Barnes

Star Star Star Star Star

11 months ago

From start to finish, booking in with Jess in the office to Mark and Lee turning up for app 5-star service from start to finish..Quick turnaround…

Read more

Posted on Google

Mark Treasure

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

We recently used ICE Cleaning to assist with the cleaning of communal areas and flats following a fire in a service riser. I initially spoke with…

Read more

Posted on Google

Martin Haw

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Very prompt, polite and professional service

Read more

Posted on Google

George C

Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Very professional and the sales team are very helpful and easy to deal with. The job was carried out quickly and professionally and the site team…

Read more

Posted on Google

Derik Matheus

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

ICE Cleaning is a great company to work with! They have been cleaning our office for two years, and we are thrilled to have them as part of our team.

Read more

Posted on Google

Dannil Sourez

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

ICE Cleaning Solutions is a serious and responsible company that takes pride in their work.

Read more

Posted on Google

Sam Hart

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Very impressed with ICE cleaning, really efficient and had good service. Dealt with my mould issue in my gym really well and couldn’t be…

Read more

Posted on Google

Luke Stockwell

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

We used ICE Cleaning at BT Sport for a Cage Warriors event in our studios. In previous years this event had caused multiple problems due to the risk…

Read more

Posted on Google

Danielle Baycanli

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

ICE cleaning cleaned the floors and carpets of our school to a very high standard. The team was friendly and efficient and we were very happy with…

Read more

Posted on Google

Emma Bryan

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

ICE cleaning completed a commercial clean for us. They were very professional, prompt, responsive and they event went back the next day to finish…

Read more

Posted on Google

Stuart Goodson

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Zoe as the first point of contact was extremely helpful and efficient. The decontamination of toxic mercury from my mother’s garage was…

Read more

Posted on Google

Nick Barringer

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

I was dealt with very professionally from first contact through to completion. The people are pleasant and knowledgeable, the work was carried out…

Read more

Posted on Google

Jason Etherington

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Fantastic service, the technician was very understanding and talked us through the process and was happy to answer any questions. Work was completed…

Read more

Posted on Google

Alison Bailey

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

On calling ICE following a spillage, I first came into contact with Zoe. At all times Zoe was courteous, calm and professional. I asked her to call…

Read more

Posted on Google

Elisabeth Underdown

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

We came back from holiday to see a massive mould problem in 2 of our rooms. We checked around but found this company to be best priced, most…

Read more

Posted on Google
Why choose us

Why choose us?

  • Cater to a wide variety of cleaning situations
  • Nationwide coverage, available 24/7
  • Cater to commercial and domestic clients
  • Free survey provided prior to quotation 
  • Emergency response team
  • Offer a bespoke service designed to suit all your needs 
  • All technicians hold professional health and safety qualifications, including BICSc, IOSH, Dewpoint Professional & Safe Contractor 

We’re fully accredited

We place best practise, professional expertise and health and safety at the core of our business. We’re fully compliant with all legal obligations. You can view a list of our accreditations below, or visit our Health & Safety page for more information.

CSCS
BICSc
IOSH
SafeContractor
Dewpoint® Professional Corporate Membership
IPAF
NACSC
0208 066 0360Open 24/7
Close

We use cookies

If you continue without changing your settings we'll assume you're happy to receive our cookies.
If you'd like to change this just update your browser settings. Find out more.

Okay. I got it.