Wasps are hairless, brown with yellow marks and 1.5cm long.
They mostly feed on sugar-containing substances, such as fruit nectars. Wasps are also a major pest for restaurants, because they are attracted to meat and other food items. Nests are smaller and can be found attached upside-down to trees, eaves, and fences. When queens die, old nests are abandoned. A few dozen adults live in a single nest. Only female wasps sting; they can sting repeatedly. Wasps do not sting unless they are disturbed.
Hornets are around 3 cm long and have hairless bodies with black and white rings. Hornets are social insects.
The hornet nests are much larger – contain thousands of hornets – and can be found above or below the ground. Only the female hornet stings. Hornets can sting repeatedly. Hornets do not sting unless they are disturbed.
European Hornets are the most common hornets in Ontario. They are brown in colour and up to 3 cm long. Their nests are smaller than those of other hornets, and can be found in the wall voids of structures. They are active at night.
The bald-faced hornets are black and white in colour, and under 2cm long.
Bees are social insects; unlike wasps and hornets, bees are hairy.
Bees pollinate crops. The feed on nectar and pollen. Only female bees can sting. Bees do not sting unless they are disturbed.
There are two common bee species in Ontario. These are the honey bee and the bumble bee.
The honey bee is brown in colour with black marks and is up to 1.5cm long. The female can only sting once.
The bumble bees are black and yellow coloured and are up to 2cm long. They have a distinct buzzing. The bumble bee nests can be found below and above the ground level in lawns and debris.