Bees and wasps are two insects you don’t want to mess with. Their sting hurts and can lead to an allergic reaction. On top of that, it isn’t enjoyable to hear the buzzing all the time, especially during the warm season in Australia. Sometimes, the situation can get out of hand, and you can find yourself under a swarm’s attack. But how can you tell if you have an infestation? And how do you tell the difference between bees and wasps? Read on to find out!

Bees vs Wasps - What’s the difference?

  • Appearance

The first notable difference between the two insects is their body type. Bees’ bodies look robust and fat and have a brown and yellow colour. They have thick legs and lots of fuzzy hairs, which help them collect pollen easier. On the other hand, wasps are smooth and shiny and have a defined black-and-yellow stripe on their bodies. Their waists and legs are narrow, which makes them better hunters.

  • Food preference

Another difference between bees and wasps is their diet. Bees feed solely on the nectar they suck from flowers. This also makes them relatively peaceful because they don’t have to engage in any conflict to acquire food. However, wasps aren’t satisfied with nectar and hunt for protein-based materials to feed their larvae. That makes them more aggressive and prone to attack humans or their food.

  • Hive difference

Beehives often have a waxy, honeycomb look. Different types of bees build their hives in different places. Examples of good hive locations are wooden structures like the wall of your backyard shack or a larger crack around your attic.


On the other hand, wasp hives look like they’re made of paper because wasps chew wood pieces and use their saliva to bind them together when building their nest. These hives are usually under house eaves, alongside windows or near fixtures and patios.

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Signs of a Bee Infestation

  • Swarms of bees around your property
The initial sign of a bee infestation is an increased number of bees flying around your property. Inside your home or in your yard, an increase in the bee population near your place points to a hive nearby. If you can hear them buzzing around every part of your home, then you’re running out of time.  
  • Dark-coloured patches on ceilings and walls
Another noticeable sign of a bee infestation is dark patches on your ceiling or walls. These dark spots only appear after the bees finish constructing their hives. The dark patches on your wall or ceiling are the result of worker bees producing honey.  

Wasp Infestation Signs

  • Live wasps flying around
Warm weather is usually a good thing, but it also gets wasps moving more. If you notice an increase in wasp activity around your home or yard - that might be a wasp infestation sign. Even if you don’t see the insects flying around, the buzzing is hard to miss.    
  • A Wasp nest on your property
Unlike bees, who like to conceal their hives, wasps show more bravery. They build their nests in sheltered areas, but with easy outdoor access. You can locate a wasp nest under eaves or around fixtures, in trees or bird boxes or even the garage.    
  • Chewed wood around your home
As we mentioned earlier, wasps use chewed wood to build their nests. This makes the structure look like it’s made of cardboard paper. Wasps will strip wood pieces from different wooden structures like your house’s exterior or your window panes. Finding small holes or tunnels on wooden surfaces can be a good sign of a wasp infestation. Unfortunately, this sign could also indicate other insects’ presence, too, like ants or termites.

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