Bees and wasps are more alike than they are different. Indeed, some entomologists believe that a wasp simply is neither a bee nor an ant.
A person can compare the European honeybee to the paper wasp, whose differences are fairly noticeable. The honeybee has a robust and fuzzy body that helps her collect pollen. She brings nectar and pollen back to the colony, whose most important member is the Queen. She is the mother of all the honeybees in her colony and the only female who can reproduce. She lays her eggs in the hexagonal cells the worker bees have made for them. The eggs hatch into larvae which are looked after and fed by young workers. After they reach a certain size, they’re sealed up in their chamber, then pupate. Then, they emerge from the cell as an adult. For the first days of their lives honeybees take care of the hive and see to the larvae. Later, they build the cells out of wax and store nectar and pollen in them. The last days of their lives are spent foraging. The male honeybees, or drones, serve no purpose save to mate with a new queen. A queen can live about three or four years, while a worker will work herself to death after a few weeks or months.
Humans also keep bees for their ability to pollinate plants and the honey and other beneficial substances they produce.
Paper wasps aren’t kept by humans, for one thing, even though they’re fairly docile and considered beneficial because they prey on destructive insects. They can be told from honeybees because they’re larger and more slender, with a very slender waist. Though they can have the same sort of coloring, they’re not fuzzy. The mother of the wasp colony isn’t called a Queen, but a foundress. She either builds the nest by herself or builds one with her sisters. The larvae aren’t fed pollen, nectar or royal jelly, but chewed up caterpillars. All of the wasps in the nest are female, but only the foundress lays eggs. Unlike the Queen honeybee, who’s much larger than the workers or drones, the foundress isn’t that much different physically from her daughters or sisters. When the colony starts to produce reproductive females and males, they eventually leave to find mates. The new reproductive females then start their own nests. Unlike the relatively long-lived Queen honeybee, the wasp foundress only lives about a year.
Do you think that you might have a problem with ants or wasps? If so, call the professionals at Accuracy Plus today at (888) 675-0258 for a free consultation and estimate.