Do Hornets Make Honey? Understand The Un'bee'lievable Truth | Kidadl


Do Hornets Make Honey? Understand The Un'bee'lievable Truth

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A hornet can be considered as the angry cousin of a honey bee!

Honey is a product that is created by bees in large numbers. When honey bees is mentioned, our immediate thought is either to run or think of the sweet liquid gold which is honey!

Bees, hornets, and wasps are all small insects that may look similar to us due to the black and yellow markings on their bodies but they are actually quite different. Hornets are insects that are types of wasps and they don't produce any honey. To the eye, they look a little rounder and fatter than the regular common wasp. If agitated or provoked, wasps tend to be more aggressive than hornets. Yet, to humans, hornet stings are the most painful when compared to most species of insects that sting because hornet venom consists of certain chemicals that make it quite painful. They do not have fuzzy or furry bodies like bees and so only eat the nectar and pollen from fruit and flowers. They also eat caterpillars, larvae, small bees, and grasshoppers.

Many scientists and insect experts are still doubtful about the whole concept of wasp honey and are not sure whether wasps actually do produce honey. There is a species of wasps called Mexican honey wasps that make honey in small amounts and this honey is considered to be a rare delicacy in some places. Other wasp species feed on other insects that are smaller in size and larvae for food, not producing any honey. At times, wasps are honey thieves and wasps steal honey from hives of bees! Just like a bee, both the hornet and the wasp love sugar, and when these insects steal honey from a beehive, they eat it! For a hornet, bees are a delicious source of food too.

Do wasps and hornets make honey?

We are very familiar with the idea of honey bees producing honey but to many, the concept of wasp honey is quite vague! All over the world, the availability of honey is only due to honey bees producing it and we hardly hear of honey that comes from wasps or hornets.

Certain wasp species, such as the Mexican honey wasp, produce honey. Mexican honey wasps produce just enough sweet juice to sustain themselves. Wasp honey from the Mexican honey wasps is believed to taste like maple syrup. Nonetheless, it is advised to be careful when consuming it as it can cause poisoning since wasp honey is ultimately regurgitated food.

Yellowjackets, bald-faced hornets, and common wasps are all insects that consume nectar and actively participate in pollination but they do not produce honey. Wasps consume nectar by extracting it from flowers. Once the nectar is extracted from flowers, pollination happens. The nectar is subsequently regurgitated in order to be processed and turned into honey. Bumblebees have long, prickly hairs that cover their whole bodies and help in collecting honey. Wasps, on the other hand, lack these hairs, making them less efficient pollinators. Wasps fail to pollinate as efficiently as bees because pollination is far less efficient for them. Wasps, like bees, continue to devour nectar. Wasps are honey thieves. It’s interesting how wasps steal honey from beehives. These insects fly up to a neighboring hive and, one by one, seek to enter the hive through the entrance.

Is hornet honey edible?

Wasps and hornets are rarely associated with honey!

There is a type of wasp species called the Mexican honey wasp or wasps that are known to produce honey that is edible but only in very small amounts. The Mexican honey wasp is a honey-producing wasp that exists in the southern ranges of the United States like Arizona and Texas. Not many people are actually aware of this honey-producing wasp and those who have had the opportunity to taste this wasp's honey have claimed that it tastes a little similar to maple syrup. However, it is advised to be careful when consuming this product as it is regurgitated food and there is still the possibility of it containing some harmful chemicals that can lead to poisoning.

Honey can be yellow, orange, or even white!

What are the different types of hornets?

There are about 100 different types of hornet species around the world and there might probably be some more ones that we might not be aware of.

Some popular hornets are bald-faced hornets and European hornets. Bald-faced hornets are given their unique name for their whitish ivory-like faces which is why they are also called white-faced hornets. These hornets can be quite aggressive if their nests or space is threatened. They're known to go straight for the face if attacked and their stings can be extremely painful for humans. If stung by a hornet or wasp, it is important to seek treatment immediately. The nest of a bald-faced hornet can grow to the size of a basketball or sometimes, even larger! European hornets, which are also referred to as brown hornets or giant hornets, can be sometimes confused with Japanese hornets. European hornets are the only true hornets and they are widely found in the eastern part of the United States and also throughout the United Kingdom too!

An advantage about hornets is that they bring a balance to the ecosystem by controlling some severe pests like caterpillars and other insects that are known to eat plants and crops. Without these predators, these pests could completely ruin plants and crops.

What are the different types of honey?

Believe it or not, there are around 18 types of honey available to people around the world! Honey bees make honey as their own food supply and this makes them very different from other bee species and stinging insects.

Each type of honey is varied and different in terms of color, texture, taste, and the health benefits it provides.. There is clover honey, Acacia honey, buckwheat honey, orange blossom honey, sage honey, blueberry honey, Dandelion honey, heather honey, macadamia honey, fireweed honey, avocado honey, palmetto honey, manuka honey, tupelo honey, wildflower honey, eucalyptus honey, sourwood honey, and linden honey!

What are the differences between a hornet, wasp, and a honey bee?

There are many differences between a hornet and a honey bee.

Wasps and hornets hornet arewell-known for being honey thieves and they have a sweet tooth. This is also why they love to feed on honey bees, fruit, and tree-sap! Apart from honey bees, they also feed and prey on small insects, larvae, and eggs of insects. Most adult wasps and hornets kill prey and most of the time the prey is for their young ones that have hatched from eggs. Both these insects make nests but the nests of wasps are often close to the ground while bees make their nests in treetops or high places.

Another difference between honey bees, wasps, and hornets is that when a bee stings, the stinger gets stuck and falls off, causing this insect to die immediately. In the case of wasps and hornets, their stingers are smooth so they can sting you as many times as they want without losing them! Since the sting of a bee is nothing compared to the sting of a hornet, if attacked or threatened by a hornet or wasp, a swarm of bees will surround the hornet and start to vibrate their bodies at a very high speed. This vibration caused by bees leads to an increase in the temperature drastically, thereby roasting the hornet alive! Hornets release more venom in their sting than any other stinging insect!

Nearly five times the size of a bee, a group of giant hornets can wipe out an entire colony of bees or a bee's nest. One giant hornet has the capacity to kill around 40 bees a minute! Hornet nests are so creatively constructed that they can accommodate around 4000-19000 hornets in a single nest alone! The nest of a hornet feels like rough cardboard to touch due to the wood material used and the manner in which it is built. A wasp's nest is different from that of a bee's which is made up of a wax that it secretes. Wasps and hornets are social insects. They build their colonies in thick bushes, shrubs, and trees. Wasps and hornets bring a great benefit to the natural ecosystem. They help keep the ecosystem in a state of balance by controlling plant pests like caterpillars and aphids. If it weren't for hornets and wasps, these plant-destroying insects would chew out many crops and destroy plants.

Sharon Judith
Written By
Sharon Judith

<p>A humanities and Science student, Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a specialization in Psychology, Economics, and Sociology from Mount Carmel College and is currently pursuing her Master's in Science from Bournemouth University. She is passionate about research, content writing, and development, and has a keen interest in international finance and economics. With her strong analytical skills and inquisitive mind, she is always striving to deepen her knowledge and understanding of these subjects.</p>

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