Do Wasps Make Honey, or Do They Steal Honey From Bees?

Wasps generally do not produce honey, though there are a (very) few exceptions to this rule. 

Although wasps consume nectar, most wasps species don’t use this nectar to make honey. Instead, wasps eat only as much as they need for the day while preying on other insects to feed their young. 

The only exception is Mexican honey wasps, which is one of the only species other than bees that produce and store their honey.

Why do most wasps not produce honey?

wasp eats nectar from flowersMost wasps don’t produce honey simply because, unlike bees, they don’t plan to survive the winter. Adult wasps eat sugary foods, like fruits and nectar from flowers, but they don’t use it to produce honey. Although baby wasps eat other insects caught by the adult members of the colony, adult wasps only consume nectar and other plant-based foods like fruit juice and pollen. As adult wasps don’t eat insects, almost all of them die off in Autumn as the plants disappear and the colony succumbs to starvation.

Honey bees eat pollen, and they also gather nectar. However, rather than eating it on the spot, they take it back to bee hives to make honey. The honey is their food store for the winter, and a hive of honey bees can survive on their sticky stock until spring.

Do wasps steal honey?

Certain wasps species, like yellowjackets, will steal honey from honey bees if they can. Wasps steal honey, larvae, and pollen from bee hives, though this is no easy feat. A healthy honey bee hive is well equipped to defend against wasps and will often fight off the intruders before they can reach the honey stock.

There is an exception – the Mexican honey wasp! 

Most wasp species do not make honey, which is almost exclusively produced by honey bees.

However, there is one exception to the rule – and it’s the Mexican honey wasp. There are around 16 different species of Mexican honey wasps, and these are the only wasp species known to produce honey. Mexican honey wasps are native to Central America and are also found in many parts of Texas, where they are generally considered to be beneficial insects.

Like honey bees, Mexican honey wasps are important pollinators, as they fly from plant to plant in their search for nectar. However, wasps nests that are built too close to buildings can be a hazard. Like other wasp species, the Mexican honey wasp can deliver a sharp sting, and nests may need to be removed from residential areas.

Is wasp honey different from bee honey?

wasp honeyWasps made edible honey, just like bees. Wasp honey is even considered a delicacy by those living in regions where it is available. In fact, wasp honey is reported to have a very similar taste to the honey produced by bees. The Mexican honey wasp also produce honey in a similar way to bees.

Do wasps do anything good for the environment?

Wasps are highly beneficial to the environment. Wasps eat nectar, which means they fly from flower to flower during the day. When they land, pollen sticks to their body and is transferred to other plants. Therefore, wasps are important pollinators – just like the honey bee! 

Honey producing wasps may be even more beneficial as, unlike other wasp species, they rely on nectar to produce food stores of honey.

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