bonzerooble's picture


Observed: 20th April 2010 By: bonzerooble

Wasp or bee?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) interacts


anonymous spotter's picture

Honey Bee

Excellent shot of the bee drinking

bonzerooble's picture

bee drinking

Thanks for comments and name clarification. But how do we distinguish a wasp from a bee? Wouldn't most people think this was a wasp? This one came frequently to my bird bath throughout the day, sometimes hourly, sometimes every few minutes, over the three days that I was around that week, and possibly more. It became more and more tolerant of my presence. Unless it was a different one each time, in which case they were just having a laugh..


cmw's picture

wasps and bees

Well it can be quite tricky - there are wasp-like bees and bee-like wasps, which doesn't help! In general, wasp larvae are carnivorous and bees feed their young on pollen and nectar. If you look closely at the hind legs of the honeybee in your photos you'll see they're wide and flattened - an adaptation for carrying large amounts of pollen packed together to take back to the nest. Wasps won't do that (they'll be adapted for catching prey), so don't need this feature. However, not all bees have this characteristic either - it depends on the species (& habits) and often the sex - males don't collect pollen - so you just have to look for a range of different things and get to know the group.

bonzerooble's picture

Hi Claudia thanks for your

Hi Claudia

thanks for your reply - sorry for delayed response, I've not been here for a while. So can we say that only bees carry pollen on their legs? I guess it's unPC to say bees are the cuddly, cute ones and wasps are ugly and evil looking? And my pics don't support that theory either!