Holding Space for the Relationships Bees Choose
What Do the Cows Think?
I have found myself wondering what the next stage in hive evolution will be.
More than that, I have realized that the predominant theme of commercial honeybee hive design throughout history has so far been the theft of honey, only recently rivaled by concern for bee welfare. But can this dynamic be completely revolutionized—where bee welfare is the primary design concern, and the collection of bee-related products—on their terms—is only secondary? Is it possible to design a hive in which bees are given the option to provide products like honey or pollen for species other than themselves?
A Million Bodies Drowning in the Flood Myth of Apis Mellifera
Do we need an animal to plainly state this is hurting me, this is painful, this is killing me, stop, before we act on their behalf?
While a linguistic contract from the animals is deemed necessary by some critics of the rights model, notably no such contract of consent can be cited for the origin of animal exploitation under capitalism. They are simply exploited to the death, despite biting, despite running away, and despite recoiling from humans (even those, who, as D’Amato cited, are transporting them to sanctuaries). The problem is not necessarily a lack of rights, but the presence of a system which necessitates them.
A New Direction for Beekeeping
We can build and place all the wild bee hotels we can make (and we should). We can refuse to buy honey on industrial or local scales, whatever preference we have (and we should). But until we change the underlying system of food production, we are not addressing the root causes of colony collapse or loss of pollinator diversity. Industrial pollination–that is, the waiting game for when colony collapse or some other horror will strike a hive, and the destruction of wild bees with it–is demanded for every fruit and vegetable we buy from this scale.
Hearing Modern Earth in the Ancient Myth of Lughnasadh
How will we keep-bees when so many threats face them and us together? How do we act on valuing resiliency ahead of profit and products? What can we offer them rather than solely take from them?
Wild Bees Need Our Help
To the ancient Celts, Lughnasadh marks the death of an earth goddess and the beginning of Autumn. With the earliest Earth Overshoot Day ever recorded falling on this day as well, are we also looking at the death of the Earth and the Autumn of the Anthropocene?
Since the early 2000s, the world has been abuzz with concern about honeybees and the hive-devastating phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, between 2006 and 2007, some beekeepers reported unexplained losses of between 30-90% of their hives. We now hypothesize that CCD is a result of the labor and environmental conditions honeybees are made to work in to pollinate our modern agricultural system.