Wasps (Order Hymenoptera)
Wasps are in the same order as bees (Hymenoptera) and so have similar characteristics. Similar to bees, wasp species present a variety of colors and patterns, so you must look at other physical characteristics to identify them correctly.
Compared to bees, wasps:
- tend to move more slowly between flowers and take their time collecting flower nectar.
- have a pinched waist and narrower body
- lack feathery hairs for carrying pollen
Butterflies (Order Lepidoptera)
Many insects will visit a flower to collect the nutritious nectar, like this butterfly (pictured), and may pick up some pollen in the process, but none are as effective at pollination as bees.
Beetles (Order Coleoptera)
Many species of beetles can be found foraging for nectar on flowers, and some flowers are actually adapted to be pollinated primarily by beetles. You can identify beetles by their hard leathery wing covers, their habit of walking around on flowers rather than flying directly from flower-to-flower, and by their relatively clumsy flight compared to bees, wasps, or flies.