An Analysis of the relationship between wasps and bees and a critique on common misconception:
With all of the well documented and covered news these days, one important story has been forgotten. Sources such as CNN, FOX News, and BBC have all been blind to this emerging and pressing issue. Due to the clear lack of news coverage, the Quad has taken on the great task of educating and analyzing this new epidemic. It has completely split the Sacred Heart Prep community with supporters on either side having extremely strong opinions. The issue…? Wasps versus Bees.
Before analyzing the opinions of our fellow Sacred Heart students we must first provide some basic information regarding the two insects to dispel common misconceptions. After doing extensive research into the biology and habits of the flying critters, we have drawn clear conclusions. Although bees and wasps are both Hymenoptera, Animilia, insecta, apocrita, and Arthropoda they have very different physical characteristics, feeding habits, and levels of aggressiveness. It is true that wasps are more aggressive and can sting victims multiple times without dying. Regarding their feeding habits, bees are pollinators, whereas wasps are predators. Although wasps are often viewed as terrible pests, “The Independent” states that wasps are crucial to preserving Earth’s ecosystem. The Fig Wasp, primarily located in tropical regions, ensures that the fig plant thrives through this relationship. This “interdependent pollination symbiosis” allows the fig plant to “support the diets of at least 1,274 mammals and birds.” Many people know the importance of bees to the ecosystem through the process of pollination displayed in the critically acclaimed film the Bee Movie. An average of 40 Americans die each year from bee or wasp stings. Due to the increase in wasp attacks in recent months, many Americans have developed Spheksophobia, or a fear of wasps. After understanding the facts behind the issue between bees and wasps we met with much of the student body to hear their stories and understand their stance.
By engaging with the SHP student body, we were able to gain insight into the personal experiences of those victimized by the rise of the wasp as well as those who feel the wasps contribute something unique and necessary. One of the first victims we encountered was our very own Quad writer, Joey Dahlkemper. Joey illustrated to us how while recently working at Country Corner, filling up ice bags, he was viciously stung by a wasp, exclaiming “ouchie” in utter agony. This was very concerning to him because he felt as if he was minding his own business and this “excuse of a wasp” decided to hurt him. He was offended…This made us think of how torn the SHP community is over the topic of bees and wasps. Some of you SHP students may have noticed that there increase in wasp activity in the past couple months. This is due to the male wasps competing to mate with the queen wasp. This makes them far more aggressive towards humans for territory, water, and food (especially sugar). Many people don’t know the difference between the two but Sam Davison aka the “Wasp Killer” thinks otherwise. When asked about the epidemic he said “No no, wasps are bad, Bees are endangered and wasps aren’t, all they do is hurt people while bees pollinate flowers”. In just a 2 week timespan Sam, nicknamed the “Wasp Killer”, has racked over 6 confirmed kills on wasps using a multitude of techniques. Other students expressed their love for wasps…Katherine Salisbury said that “Wasps are good for the Ecosystem because they pollinate flowers, wasps are bees”(Katherine Salisbury). Although Katherine is under the common misconception that bees are the same wasps, she also brings up a very important fact that is often ignored. While many are like katherine, others praise Sam’s brave work. Ale Torres said that we need to “exterminate them” and Andrew Charukian said “Wasps are repulsive”. Despite the seemingly overwhelming opposition towards the wasp, Ronan Donelly came to the defense of these creatures stating his pro-life stance. Ronan believes that although popular opinion is not in favor of the thrival of wasps, wasps should be treated equitably and without biased prejudices. Due to the utter complexity of the wasp versus bee debate it is impossible to fully express the opinions of everyone and analyze the creatures themselves, therefore we hoped to simply inform you, the reader, on this ever pressing issue in hopes that you may learn something new and perhaps form your own opinion.