Bees are already in decline.
It actually leads me to wonder whether a diet with or without honey is ethically responsible. Bees occupy an important part of the ecosystem, mainly for their actions as pollinatory transit systems (they rub flowers with their asses). So the dying out of bees is scary. There’s theories (possibly facties) that if the bee population drops below a certain point the whole damn system crumbles. Irreparable damage to the status quo of our environmental network. Plants stop breeding, breaks in the cycles of energy and nitrogen, dramatic changes to the atmosphere, and the everyone’s in trouble.
Well, to be fair, it’ll probably just hit a new equilibrium, that won’t have room for lots of the things around at the moment. Those that adapt will be okay. Then an explosion of life to fill in the gaps.
Anyway, the point is, that spiders are really fucking fast.
Spiders are really fast, and bees, in my experience, have terrible aim. And don’t understand windows.
So bees have virtually no way of successfully taking down a spider, but spiders have a perfect system for fucking over flying insects. That’s their thing.
So from the arms perspective, its a hands down victory for the spiders.
Socially speaking though, the bees have hierarchy and social structure in place. Historically, that seems to be more important than just having the biggest guns.
Wait. Actually, that’s bullshit isn’t it. I’m just thinking of patriarchy and class privilege instead of thinking about the annihilation of huge swathes of indigenous peoples by European ‘explorers’ who had figured out how to make things go bang.
So the spiders would win, as long as they could organise themselves, and as the question is presumably based on an assumption that these creatures that have no desire for world domination suddenly went to war with another for that purpose I’m guessing that motivation isn’t an issue.
Because it would be. It would be a huge issue. I’m not even thoroughly convinced that any people actually want world domination outside of silly films and comic books (or in their one particular isolated field of expertise). I think most inordinately powerful people realise that they’ve got it okay without the logistical nightmare of taking over the whole planet. Then they just become paranoid about maintaining what they’ve got.
I don’t know if spiders or bees have these sorts of problems (these problems seem pretty far out of reach to me, and I have a huge, troublesome brain specifically designed for imagining problems), but we have to assume it’s irrelevant, right?
So the spiders would win, because they have webs for catching bees in. But then the bees would stop pollinating flowers, and after the brief happy period where spiders dominated a crumbling ecosystem and I didn’t have to deal with a rebellious, hay-fever ridden face the whole planet would be in a new format that might not even have a dominant hegemony.
Apoideian or arachnid or otherwise.
Illustration by Lucy.