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  • Writer's picturePGM & SON Pest Control

The difference between Bees, Wasps and Hornets

Updated: May 16

PGM and Son; The difference between Bees, Wasps and Hornets

This week we’re looking at the differences between these buzzing insects. Bees, Wasps and Hornets.


There’s a lot of different species of bee but the most common, and loved ones, in the UK are the bumble bee and the honey bee.

Bees are massively important to our ecosystem. They are pollinators which essentially helps our food supplies in the UK. Bees pollinate around a third of what we eat.

Bees are fascinating creatures, storing their honey in complex hives made from wax which you might better know as honeycomb.

PGM & SON; The difference between Bees, Wasps and Hornets

These bees are golden in colour with tiny hairs all over that give them a fuzzy look.

Bees are happy to go about their business undisturbed.

They won’t normally bother you if you don’t bother them. If a bee is threatened it may sting but this is rare because once a bee has stung you, it’s sting comes away from its body and it dies.

Sometimes feral swarms can set up home in chimneys and wall cavities which can present problems so if you do have a swarm it’s best to contact a bee keeper or a qualified pest controller.


Whilst wasps are early pollinators they main function is to act as a natural predator.

There are many thousands of wasp species so it can be difficult to differentiate between them.

Wasps are often considered a pest because they build nests close to places which the public frequent such as restaurants and cafes and also in gardens.

Some people are allergic to wasp stings which makes them even more of a public health issue. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. If not treated quickly it can be fatal. If you see someone with symptoms you should call for an ambulance immediately – dial 999.

PGM & SON; The difference between Bees, Wasps and Hornets

Unlike bees, wasps don’t die when they sting. Like bees, they won’t normally attack unless they feel threatened however, if they do they can (and will) sting multiple times – ouch!

And wasps will also call for back up by sending out a pheromone which signals to other wasps they need help.

Getting stung by multiple wasps can be very serious which is why we recommend you don’t try to treat or remove a wasp nest yourself.

Always call a professional pest controller who is trained to deal with wasps. Pest controllers use special equipment to protect themselves.


It is unlikely you will see a hornet as they are not a common sight. However, they are the heavyweight of the wasp world – coming in at twice the size of a wasp they can look very frightening!

Our native hornet is the European Hornet which has brown and yellow markings.

Asian hornets are slightly smaller and have black or dark brown markings with a distinct yellow band at the rear, a bright yellow belt at the waist and a black head with an orange or yellow face.

PGM & SON; The difference between Bees, Wasps and Hornets

They are not native to the UK and are an invasive predatory species which could have a destructive impact on our wildlife.

Hornet stings are often more painful due to the level of venom in their sting.

If you think you have a hornet nest or if you spot a hornet give PGM & SON a call, we remove hornets and report.

It is important to be aware of the differences between bees, wasps, and hornets. This will help you to avoid being stung and to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family from these insects.


As there are so many different types of wasp and bee, the best thing to do if you are concerned about a buzzing insect is to give PGM & Son Pest Control a call. We’ll identify the species and determine what risk it poses. We’ll give advice and solutions on handling all your wasp, bee and hornet problems.

If you have a wasp problem, bee issue or need to get rid of hornets, if you’re looking for a wasp guy to get rid of your wasp nest then give PGM & Son Wasp Control Hereford a call today for fast, safe wasp nest treatment.

If you’ve a problem with wasps, hornets, ants or any other pest control issues across Herefordshire, give PGM Pest Control a call.

We’re here to help with all your insect problems!


Give your local, award winning, pest control business a call today for a free no-obligation quote. Call us today on 01981 241334 / 07964 370480 for a free no-obligation quote. Or email us at

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