Difference Between Bee and Wasp Sting (With Table)

Whether it’s a bee sting or a wasp sting, they caused a lot of pain. However, they get cured by themselves and start losing its effect after three to four hours. Once the pain is gone, there is left only itchiness and swelling which can also leave after one day. 

Sometimes, we could not tell which one the fly had bitten, therefore it is important to know the difference. 

Bee Sting vs Wasp Sting

The main difference between a bee sting and a wasp sting is that a bee sting is barbed i.e., they get stuck to the body. On the other hand, a wasp sting is smoother, they do not get stuck to the flesh. Both the flies inject their venom into us with a stringer that is attached to their body.

Honey Bee stings are more venomous. They inject their venom into our bodies using stringers. The stringer is attached to their digestive part. When they sting someone, their stringer sticks to the body and they die because of this trauma. Therefore, they can bite only once.

Wasp stings are less venomous. They puncture the skin by injecting venom using their stringer. But their stringers are so smooth that they do not inject into the body. Therefore, they can sting more than once. 

PropertiesBee StingWasp Sting
Body TypeA bee has more hair on its body and also a wider waist than a wasp. A wasp has a thinner waist and less body hair as compared to a bee.
TreatmentThe first thing one should do is to remove the sting from the body as soon as possible regardless of the method used. As it will ease the pain. For removing itchiness you can use a topical steroid cream. Wash the area using water and soap, place an ice cube on the affected area by wrapping it in a cloth. If you are allergic, then immediately take antihistamines like Claritin or Benadryl. For relieving pain, use Advil or Tylenol.
Severe problemIt has been studied that about 2 per cent of people develop hypersensitivity after the sting. A person who has allergies can suffer from anaphylactic shock due to the presence of acid in the venom. These people can take adrenaline, EpiPen with themselves. Wasp stings are not severe. But it can create problems for an allergic person. Some of the problems are hives, light dizziness, and lower blood pressure. According to research, around 100 people die every year because of wasp stings.
SymptomsPain and swelling in the affected area.Symptoms of wasp stings are sharp burning in the affected area, itching, redness, swelling, and pain
Sting structureWhen a bee stings, you are less likely to see blood at the centre. However, sometimes you can see the sting inside the wound.When a wasp stings, you will see a wound at the affected with some blood at the centre. 

What is Bee Sting?

A bee stings by puncturing the skin and releases venom into the affected body from her body. The sting of bees is acidic, which causes mild pain for several minutes. The pain also depends on the type of bee. 

The acids that are present in the venom of bees are histamine, phospholipase A2, Melittin, acid phosphate, hyaluronidase, and mast cell degranulating peptide. There is also the presence of three proteins in the venom, those are Acid phosphate, hyaluronic acid, phospholipase A2. 

There is a misconception that honeybees could bite just once. They indeed have barbed stings when they stick to the flesh and lose their life. But this happens only when they sting a fat human. And they also bite more than just once. 

Honeybees bite only when they are roughly handled. They can sting all mammals repeatedly. 

What is Wasp Sting?

There are almost twenty thousand species of wasp. They have a smother stringer, which means they can sting as many people as they want. Not all species sting humans and four stinging wasps are common these days. Those are- Bald-Faced Hornet, Yellow Jacket, Paper Wasp, and Cicada Killer Wasp.

Bald-Faced Hornet has a black and white body, which is one inch long. They are mostly found in Asia, North America, Africa, and Europe. They are very aggressive and often make their nest on trees. Do not confuse this wasp with European hornet. European hornets mostly live in holes in windows, doors, and trees. They have a yellow and black striped abdomen and reddish-brown legs and head.

Yellow Jackets have short legs and yellow-black striped abdomens. These are found in every part of the world from spring to mid-summer. They are most aggressive among all and bite more often than any other wasp.

Paper Wasp are about half to one inch long. They have a black or reddish-brown body. Paper wasps are found during summer, fall, and spring. When they fly, they hang their legs in the air. These have a yellow colour ring-like structure around their abdomen.

Cicada Killer Wasps have a 1(½) inch long body. These have a black abdomen with white marks that feed on large animals. They don’t sting humans.

Main Differences Between Bee Sting and Wasp Sting

  1. A bee sting is barbed. On the other hand, a wasp sting is smooth.
  2. Bees have hairy bodies, wider hips, and flat rear legs. On the other hand, a wasp has a smooth and shiny body with slender legs.
  3. Bees often leave their stinger behind. On the other hand, wasps do not leave their stinger behind.
  4. Bees sting almost once in their lifetime (sometimes it can not be true). On the other hand, wasp stings very often


Bees and Wasps belong to the family Hymenoptera. Their sting does not cause much problem. But if someone is exposed to allergies, then the stings can create many problems to health.


  1. https://www.jpgmonline.com/article.asp?issn=1319-2442;year=2008;volume=19;issue=6;spage=969;epage=972;aulast=George
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.5694/j.1326-5377.1984.tb103996.x