image of honey bees

Are Those Honey Bees or Bumble Bees?

Though people commonly confuse the two, there are some major differences between bumble bees and honey bees. These insects vary in appearance as well as behavior. Understanding how to tell them apart can help homeowners know if they have bumble bees or honeybees and determine the right course of action.


Bumble bees have large, round bodies that are yellow or orange and black,or sometimes just solid black. Honey bees are smaller and thinner with yellow and brown stripes. Both have transparent wings and make a buzzing noise as they fly, but the bumble bee’s flight has a lower-pitched hum.

Bumble Bee vs. Honey Bee Nests

These insects live in colonies,but group size varies greatly between the two. A bumble bee nest contains several hundred bees, while a honey bee nest can sustain more than 10,000.

Another difference between a honey bee and a bumble bee is the insect’s nest location. Bumble bees thrive underground in vacant rodent burrows and other abandoned animal tunnels. On the other hand, honey bees often live in tree hollows or even wall voids.

Additional Information

All honey bees and bumble bees gather pollen and produce honey. However, because bumble bee colonies have shorter lifespans and smaller numbers, they don’t make as much.Both types will sting in defense of their nests. Honey bees are more likely to attack, but they only sting once. Bumble bees can sting multiple times.

Honey Bee vs.Bumble Bee Removal

Since both kinds of bees have painful stings, a nest near a home may be cause for alarm. In addition, their venom is dangerous for those with allergies. Homeowners with bumble bee or honey bee infestations should contact the specialists at Western Pest Services to avoid stings and help preserve beneficial bee populations.