The reason humans hate wasps and love bees: Study

ABC News | 9/20/2018 | Staff
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To humans, wasps are not as popular or as well-liked as bees, according to a new study from the University College London that was published in the Ecological Entomology.

“Culturally, we are brought up to hate or fear wasps; this is likely to influence the likelihood of scientists choosing to study wasps, as opposed to bees,” Marie Curie, a research fellow at the University College London, told ABC News.

Wasps - Bees - Public - Interest - Nature

Wasps are universally disliked more than bees because of the general public's low interest in nature and a lack of knowledge of the benefits wasps bring to the planet’s health and function, according to the study.

Alessandro Cini, the study's author, said understanding what wasps could do for the planet is imperative.

Less - Research - Wasps - Means - Appreciation

“Less research on wasps means less general appreciation and knowledge about their role; less knowledge means less exposure to the public by the media,” Cini said.

For the study, there were 750 people from 46 countries who took part in a two-month survey via email and social media, according to the report.

Mud - Dauber - Wasp - Sceliphron - Caementarium

A black and yellow mud dauber wasp (Sceliphron caementarium) rests on a leaf, April 22, 2018, in Lombardy, Italy.

Recipients were asked to rate bees and wasps from plus six to minus six. The majority of respondents ranked bees plus three or above, while wasps were rated minus three or below.

Nature - Wasps - Fuels - Perception - Wasps

“The bothersome nature of social wasps fuels the perception that wasps are more dangerous than bees, although each elicits a similarly painful sting,” according to the study's authors.

Participants were also asked to find words that they associate with bees and wasps.

Bee - Sits - Blue - Flower - Aug

A Bumble Bee sits on a blue flower, Aug. 13, 2007, in this file photo.

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