The hymenoptera include ants, wasps and bees. They, like beetles, moths and flies, have complete metamorphosis. The larvae are limbless, blind and pale maggots. There are two pairs of transparent flying wings with relatively few but clear ribs. The rear wings are always smaller than the front wings. Mouth parts are arranged to either suck or bite. In most species, there is a clearly marked narrowing between the first abdomen joint and the following joints. In the rear, the females have a stinger, which for some is used for egg production and for others to sting.

The social hymenoptera, which have the most impact in foods in this country, form communities. The communities share hives, nests and colonies and are composed of males, queens and workers. The workers, which are the most numerous, are small females with undeveloped reproductive organs.