Bees in America
How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
William Butler Yeats once said one must labor to be beautiful. I no longer deny I am a worker bee. I like the activity and anonymity that happens when I am immersed in a project I enjoy. Of all the bees, my favorite is the forager, the bee that finds flowers in the fields, collects dusty pollen and nectar, and carries these raw materials back to the hive to be turned...
Part One: Hiving Off from Europe
Von Frisch’s question has haunted me throughout the process of compiling this book. For those interested in how to keep bees, many fine writers already exist. For those who want to read about the joys of beekeeping,better books than this one are already on the market. Even scientists and researchers have found an appreciative general audience. Von Frisch ...
Chapter 1: Bees and New World Colonialism
European settlers often quoted this biblical phrase to justify their colonization efforts. As long as settlers had cattle and bees, they could be assured of the basic essentials—food, wax, medicine, candles, and clothing. So powerful was the Bible verse that even though cattle and honey bees did not exist in North America, colonizers envisioned the New World...
Part Two: Establishing a New Colony
Chapter 2: Bees and the Revolution
Eighteenth-century America is noted for three interrelated but complex processes: European immigration, frontier migration, and political independence from England. Just as eighteenth-century American society was an intersection of ethnicities, so too was the honey bee a symbol for intersecting, and at times conflicting, values. European immigration had...
Part Three: Swarming West during the Nineteenth Century
Chapter 3: Before Bee Space 1801-1860
American beekeeping history is generally divided into two periods: before and after Lorenzo Langstroth. Before Langstroth little was known about how the bee colony functioned. American beekeepers were at the mercy of two phenomena: a disease known as foulbrood and the bees’ natural instinct to swarm. Once Langstroth invented a hive that was...
Chapter 4: After Bee Space 1860-1900
Compared to honey, sugar always has been a more political commodity, but especially in nineteenth-century America. Until that time, Americans had relied on the sugarcane industry (which had been profitable because of slaves) to serve its collective sweet tooth and had neglected to address the conflict between democratic principles and chattel slavery....
Part Four: Requeening a Global Hive
Chapter 5: Early Twentieth Century: Industrialization, 1901–1949
For much of the early twentieth century, America was balanced between a pastoral ideal of sustainable agriculture and an emerging commitment to a new form of agriculture that would characterize twentieth-century America. The two ancient symbols of sustenance—bees and cattle—were in forty-eight states as well as in the territories of Alaska and Hawaii. A...
Chapter 6: Late Twentieth Century: Globalization, 1950–2000
Almond trees dot the California valley like Degas ballerinas. The limbs, pruned precisely so that sunlight will strike the middle of the trunks, fan out like pink tutus. The blossoms have a dusky, dusty scent so thick it is almost cloying. Almost. Little did Franciscan priest Junipero Serra know how the almond trees he brought with him to California in 1767 would...
In Hawaii, Michael Kliks, owner of the Manoa Honey Company, and his assistant Keoki Espiritu have invited me to see their hives on Oahu. We don bee veils and jackets, the garments setting each of us in relief against the smoky cloud-covered mountain. The pink jasmine vines threaten to overtake us. Tall banana trees shade the hives, a colorful...
Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2005
OCLC Number: 826519218
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Bees in America