Yellow Jacket Queen VS Drone – Find Out The Difference

yellow jacket queen vs drone

Though they may look similar, there are some key differences between yellow jacket queen vs drone. For one, drones do not have a stinger and, therefore, cannot sting. They also differ in size, with drones being larger than queens.

Furthermore, drones mate with the queen, while queens do not mate with other drones. Drones die after mating while queens live on to lay eggs and start a new colony. Now that you know the basics, let’s dive in a little deeper. 

The differentiating features:


One of the most obvious differences between yellow jacket queens and drones is size. Drones are larger than queens, measuring about 12 to 20 mm in length. Queens, on the other hand, are typically only 9 to 10 mm in length. This size difference is due to the fact that drones are fed more food as larvae than queens. 


Another key difference between these two types of insects is their function within the hive. Drones exist solely to mate with the queen while she is producing her sexual swarm. Once they have fulfilled this purpose, they die. The queen, meanwhile, lives on to lay eggs and start a new colony. 


Despite their different functions and sizes, yellow jacket queens and drones actually look quite similar. They both have two pairs of wings and yellow and black stripes running down their bodies. However, there are some subtle differences in their appearance. For instance, queens are usually darker than drones and have smaller heads in proportion to their bodies. 

Where to find yellow jacket queen

In late summer and early fall, yellow jacket queens emerge from their underground nests in search of mates. After mating, the queens return to their nests and begin to lay eggs. The eggs hatch a few weeks later, and the new workers begin to forage for food. 

Yellow jacket queens are often active during the day, and can be found near sources of food, such as garbage cans or picnic areas. They are also attracted to sweet fruits and flowers. If you see a yellow jacket queen, it is important to exercise caution, as they can be aggressive if disturbed.

The similarities between yellow jacket queen and drones

Though they may look different, yellow jacket queens and drones have a few things in common. 

  • For one, they are both members of the same species of wasp. 
  • They also share some similar physical features, such as yellow and black stripes. 
  • Finally, they both play important roles in the life of the hive. 

It is clear that yellow jacket queens and drones are more alike than they may seem at first glance. though they have some key differences, such as the fact that Queens can live for several years while drones only live for a few months. Despite these differences, it is clear that these two insects play vital roles in the life of the hive.


Though they may look alike at first glance, there are some big differences between yellow jacket queens and drones – from their size to their lifespan to their role within the hive. Next time you see one of these insects buzzing around, take a closer look to see if you can spot which one it is!