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What is the difference between being stung by a wasp and being stung by a honeybee?


When a honeybee stings a human, its barbed stinger gets stuck in our tough hide. That rips the stinger out of the bee, killing it. The stinger also continues to pump toxins, even after it has ripped loose from the bee.

On the other hand, wasps have much smaller barbs on their stingers, letting them sting, sting again, and fly away to sting another day. That is a good thing (for the wasps), because they usually live in much smaller colonies. A large hive of bees can afford to lose a few dozen workers, but that could wipe out a small nest of wasps.

Both wasp and honeybee venoms contain the same basic chemicals, but in different proportions.