Wasp

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WASP is a disparaging acronym for "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" see WASP (term)

Wasps are flying insects classified as similar to bees and ants, of the order Hymenoptera. There are several species of wasps, found in many parts of the world.

Appearance

Wasps can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Most wasps are similar to bees. A wasp is typically half the length of an adult male human's thumb and its body is often yellow with black stripes, but may also be black with white stripes, or solid brown or solid black in color. Wasps are often mistaken for bees, but there are ways to distinguish the two from one another.

  • Wasps are generally more slender, with a "wasp-waist".
  • Segments of a wasp are more prominent to that of a bee.
  • Bees appear to have hair while wasps don't.

One species of wasp which builds its nest in the ground and is known for particularly aggressive behavior is known as a "yellow jacket". Two different varieties are often called "hornets": one of them is the European hornet which is large (up to 1 1/2 inches), relatively gentle although they do sting, and black and yellow in color. Another is the North American hornet which is black and white in color, notoriously aggressive in behavior, and builds large football-shaped nests in trees. All of these are actually different species of wasps.

Behavior

Wasps are generally more aggressive than bees because they are hunters/scavengers rather than specialist nectar-feeders. They constantly search for high-protein edibles among human garbage while bees just look for flowers, which they pollinate while collecting their nectar food. Wasps are also more likely to sting a human unprovoked and unlike a bee, a wasp is capable of stinging a human multiple times.

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