Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Honey Bees vs. Yellow Jackets

Now, I can't really say anything bad about yellow jackets as that creature is the mascot of both my brother and niece. Yellow jackets are often confused with honey bees but they act in much different ways. Here's are some (tongue in cheek) ways you can tell the difference:

Pollinating flowers? Honey bee
Eating raw meat? Yellow jacket
Found close to bee hives? Honey bee
Found close to your picnic? Yellow jacket
Lives in a hive? Honey bee
Lives in a strange grey blobby thing? Yellow jacket
Fuzzy legs in the back (for acquiring pollen)? Honey bee
Non-fuzzy legs in the back? Yellow jacket

Both yellow jackets and honey bees are of great importance to the world. Yellow jackets eat pest insects. Honey bees make honey but also play a critical role as pollinators. Here is an interesting story about honey bees. Our neighbor on the next block has several hives and sells honey (how's that for ultra local?) and I am happy his hive is doing well. I am also happy to say that we have many of the bee friendly plants and trees on the list. How about you?


Jean M said...

Thanks for clearing that up. My question: are they both as likely to sting?

Love the list of bee-friendly plants. Except that it reminds me how much work I have ahead of me in the new front- and backyard...

ering said...

As far as I can tell, honey bees only sting defensively if you are too close to their hive. Yellow jackets are a little less, discerning about when they sting.