The Truth About How Do Wasp Make Honey?

Do Wasp make Honey? The answer is both Yes! & No! Wasps are carnivorous. They drink nectar sometimes but prefer small insects. 

Some of the few wasps species make honey. Other than that, wasps & hornets don’t make honey. Those honey are the same quality as bees honey. But it amounts very low & tastes like maple syrup.

Important fact – wasps are known for stealing honey from honeycombs & some of their species attack bees. They do it to feed their larvae.  

Do wasps eat honey? Yes! Adult wasps drink nectar and bring back to feed larvae. Another purpose of drinking nectar from flowers is getting energy.

Wasp Identification

A wasp is any insect of the narrow-waisted suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera which is neither a bee nor an ant.” – Wikipedia

We can say wasps are cousins of Bees. They have their characteristics in temperament & appearances as well. There are around 4,000 wasp species found in the U.S & more than 100,000 species worldwide. In North America, most of the types are social and called “Eurosocial wasps.” However, there are some predatory & solitary wasps available too. 

There are three common types of wasps seen in local places. Those are – 

Do Wasp make Honey
Wasp Bee Hornet
  • Hornets

Hornets are immense in eusocial wasps, and can go up to 2.2 inches in length. They are mostly found in Europe, Russia, North America & Northeast Asia. They usually build a nest by chewing woods to make a papery pulp. They do have string and attacks while defending nests & killing prays. 

  • Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are black or dark brown, and can go up to 1 inch long. They have some yellow stripes on the body, which resembles a yellowjacket. Long legs & narrow wrist is another identity of paper wasps. 

  • Yellow Jackets

Yellowjackets are similar to Bees in resembling. Commonly their size is 12nm – 19nm in length and have short legs. They have yellow stripes on the body and face. They hunt on insects & drink nectar from it. They are commonly found in protected places of human-made structures.

There are some other types of wasps available which you may find near you – 

  • Predatory wasps (Either social or solitary type. Hornets & YellowJackets included.)
  • Real parasitic wasps (Insert their eggs into the host. Also, they don’t string. )
  • Stinging parasitic wasps (Keep egg hosts in the nest & let larvae feed the host.)
  • Symphyta wasps (They live in groups & cut woods to plant larvae.)

Wasps Life Cycle

The life cycle of Wasps begins in spring. The fertilized queen leaves the old nest to build a new nest elsewhere. She creates a single-layer primary nest from a mix of wood pulp & saliva where she would lay the first sets of eggs. Newborn wasps are the majority of female workers. Those workers build the rest of the nest. The main work of the queen is laying eggs till July.

During the Autumn session, male & fertile woman wasps were born from the eggs. Then they leave the nest & do the mating. The new queens start hibernating in the cocoons until the next spring comes. 

The new queens wake up from hibernating in spring & start a new life cycle again. In the meantime, previous workers, males die in the original nest. 

In a wasp nest, their lives on average 6000 wasps. It varies in sizes from 1000 – 10000 individuals per nest. 

Pollination & WAsps

We all know that bees pollinate because of their nature. The question arises – do wasps pollinate? – the answer is Yes! Wasps pollinate but not the same as bees. 

Wasp’s body structure is not like bees. They have less hair and fur. As a result, they can carry a low amount of pollen from flower to flower. Still, a few species of wasps drink nectar from place to place, especially pollen wasps. That’s why wasps are even a part of plants’ pollination despite having low fur & hair. 

Like bees, Wasps need high energy for survival in hunting situations. This key resource of Wasps comes from the nectar of flowers. As a result, pollination happens from wasps.

Wasps Diet Plan

Do wasps eat honey? Yes, they drink honey, but that’s not all they eat. Wasps diet plan consists of various sources. Some wasps are carnivores, some are cannibals & some are both. 

Hornets, Yellowjackets, Paper Wasp, those species feed on insects. Among them, some adult wasps drink fruit juice occasionally while hunting. Yellowjackets do irregular feed in garbage cans, and picnic spot food leftovers, etc. 

Social wasps drink on the nectar of a flower and fallen fruits from trees. An exception is some of them drink nectar & insects both. Pollen wasps drink nectar only from various flowers like bees. 

Among different species of wasps, some are predators. They paralyze giant insects using their poisonous sting and feed on them. They cut them up and take them to their larvae.  

In total, their diet plan consists – 

  • Honey.
  • Nectar.
  • Plants.
  • Fruits.
  • Insects.
  • Spiders.
Do Wasp make Honey
Wasp- the hive insect

Wasp nests

Do wasps make honeycomb? No! bees build honeycombs, wasps build nests. The way wasps build nests doesn’t resemble bees honeycomb. 

Some species of wasps build nests or colonies. In the U.K., Among 7000 species, only nine species make nests. Wasps have pretty sharp teeth, which helps them build nests. 

Socials wasps usually build nests, and it all starts with the queen. Their preferred spots are trees, roofs, eaves, decks, etc. Another thing the queen checks is – is it a safe, dry & suitable structure? Then the queen uses her powerful jaw to scrape on woods & chew up woods to make paper-like pulp. She uses it for the construction of the nest. And then start laying eggs for hatching.

Wood-fiber chewed paste is the primary material for constructing Wasp nests. It contains wax, which makes the nest strong & waterproof. As more egg’s hatches, the more workers are born and make the nest bigger.  

Wasp Honey

If you ask – “do bees make honey?”  then the answer is obviously Yes! But if you ask again – “do hornets make honey?” that’s a tricky question. 

Hornets are eusocial species of wasps. They don’t produce honey but drink on nectar. Wasps are mainly carnivorous insects. They drink nectar mostly as an energy source. 

There are approximately 12 species of wasps that produce honey. Among them, Mexican Honey Wasp is a full-fledged honey producer who lives in America. In central America, Honey wasps are not that rare. 

Is wasp honey edible? Yes! in short. In the U.K. and surrounding countries, people harvest wasps honey for their personal use mainly. It’s not suitable for business purposes because those insects produce a meager amount compared to bees honey. 

Wasp honey tastes the same as honey from bees. However, this honey is not commercially available. As wasps themselves steal honey from beehives, there’s a scarcity of wasp honey in their nests. 

Wasps Vs Bees

Both Bees & Wasps belong to the Hymenoptera order. Wasps are confused with Bees often because of their similar shape. However, wasps have a black & yellow stripe around the belly, whereas bees have brown-yellowish color on the back. 

Some differences between wasps & bees are given below – 

                            Wasps 

                                Bees

 

  • They are Aggressive & attack humans. 
  • Wasps usually don’t produce honey.
  • When flying, they hang legs. 
  • Furs & hairs are not much.
  • Nest time limit is One year.

  • Attacks Humans only if they feel disturbed. 
  • Bees produce honey.
  • Legs are hidden when flying. 
  • Bees have lots of hair & furs. 
  • Nest survives for many years.

Wasps usually nest on a single hole. On the other hand, bees nest in several spots in the house. Those are the known and visible differences between wasps & bees. 

Honey Wasps Vs. Honey bees

The most significant difference between honey wasps vs. honey bees should be bees use nectar to make honey, and wasps steal honey from beehives. 

We know bees well for producing honey. Wasps don’t make honey, except some species of them make honey. They collect nectar from flowers and gather at their nest. It tastes much better than harvested bees honey. Wasp honey contains lots of sugar and a high-grade dietary supplement.

Wasps don’t store honey. On the other hand, Bees store honey as a preserved food for the winter season. Some wasps species attack those hives for taking preserved honey. 

Do Wasp make Honey
Wasp Blossom Bloom

Wasps Communication

In different situations, wasps can communicate with others by releasing pheromones. This chemical extract from the wasp’s body signals danger, food location, and attraction for mating. For example – 

  • Leaves a trail

Releasing pheromones would help other wasps to find out the location of food. It helps to identify the location of laid eggs as well. 

  • Alarming

When some other insects try to attack their nest, wasps release a particular chemical to warn others. They start shooting stings as soon as they feel endangered. 

  • Mating

Male wasps release pheromones for attracting females for mating. This pheromone gives all the information about the male to the female if she wants to mate.

Those are the communication methods Wasps use among them and known to us. 

Wasps Security

The primary weapon of wasps is stinging. They also have potent teeth & jaws. Unlike bees who have only one sting, wasps have more than one string. They can reattach the sting into their body again. 

They use their sting to defend themselves and their nests. Their stings are poisonous, so that they can use them for hunting prays too. They usually sting giant spiders again & again until it dies. Wasps bring food, chew them, and give them to larvae. 

Only female wasps can sting. Wasps have an aggressive nature. They usually attack whoever goes near their nests. 

Wasps in Human House

Wasps usually don’t make nests near human houses. They get inside the house through open windows, cracked roofs, also with washed clothes. There are several reasons that wasps might make nests inside our home. For example – 

  • Insects in the garden. 
  • Water sources near home. 
  • Food wastes around the home. 
  • Plants in the garden.

Removing the wasps’ nest inside the house is a dangerous task. Wasps are not like bees; they are aggressive & willing to attack if they find a threat to their nests. So we suggest, contact a professional service before the D.I.Y. attempt. 

Conclusions

In this article, we try to find an answer to Do wasp make honey? We discussed A-Z of Wasps categories, how they pollinate, the impact on the environment, their securities, how they communicate, wasps vs. bees, what they eat, their life-cycle, etc. 

I hope we were able to get you a satisfactory answer. Ultimately, if you find any wasp nests and want to eat honey from that, be cautious. Wasps are quite aggressive and might try to attack you. So, if you’re going to enjoy natural wasps honey, talk to professionals first before extracting it. 

By the way, the answer was – Of course, wasps do make honey but certain species

 

F.A.Q (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Do wasps do anything good?

Ans – Yes! Wasps drink nectar from flowers to flowers; as a result, they pollinate and contribute to nature. Certain species make honey too. 

  • Do wasps kill bees?

Ans – Wasps kill bees when attacking beehives. They kill using stings. When they try to steal honey, they kill weaker defense bees. 

  • Do U.K. wasps make honey?

Ans – Yes! Certain species of the U.K. and surrounding areas wasps make honey but a tiny amount.

  • Do Yellow Jackets make honey?

Ans – Yellow Jackets don’t make honey. Instead, they enjoy honey from flower nectar.

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