Yellowjacket wasps are a strange insect. They evolved beside the bee and seem to have evolved to also look like a bee. However wasps are not bees, and they definitely do not produce anything that resembles honey. Most wasps don’t make large wasp nests and actually live on their own. They travel around and find a nice empty place to lay their eggs. They do this by digging little holes to find grubs.
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They sting the grubs and lay an egg so their child has something to eat when they wake up and break out of the shell. The larva of the wasp is very similar to the larva of the bee and that leads many scientists to believe that they may have once been the same species and then diverted at a later date. Some believe differently however, that wasps evolved like bats, parallel but not genetically connected to bees. They simply evolved to mimic them out of use. Just as bats developed flight completely separately from birds.
Yellow jacket wasps are extremely aggressive and if they have made a nest in your yard you may be in trouble. If you walk on the ground they have made into their nest you will likely kill their eggs and the adult female who laid them will then want to kill you. If you truly piss off a female yellow jacket wasp then you can assume it will continue to sting you until you stop moving. So you better run as fast as you can to get away from it or you will probably wake up in a hospital, especially if there is more than one adult wasp in the area protecting the nest.
Bees, as we all know, are pollinators and vegetarian. They eat the tiny amount of liquid produced by most flowers called nectar and they turn that nectar into the sweet treat we all love, honey. They are truly the most incredible insect in the world and without them we would likely die along with the planet itself. Wasps are not pollinators. They don’t care about the environment and they also happen to be omnivores. They will happily feast on nectar and fruit but will also feast on other insects by stinging them with their stinger, causing intense pain and paralysis. Not fun.
The big difference and the reason yellow jackets are so aggressive is bees live in a society, a large society and wasps, yellow jackets at least, don’t, they live alone and raise their children alone. So when a predator approaches they don’t have a huge swarm to chase them away, its just them, the one wasp with infinite fire power protecting her nest.