Asked by: Sophie Elliott, Aberdeen
Wasp and bee venom are quite different chemically, but they both contain peptides (amino acid chains) that have evolved specifically to cause pain in other animals. The social bees and wasps use this to defend their nests; the solitary ones, just to discourage predators from eating them. Honeybee venom contains a peptide called melittin that directly activates the pain receptors in your skin.
Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.