Bee

Front Cover
Reaktion Books, 2006 - Nature - 206 pages
"How doth the little busy bee improve each shining hour / and gather honey all the day from every opening flower!" This famed Isaac Watts verse reveals the enduring fascination that bees have held for humans: bees have long been admired for their remarkable socialization and architectural skills, and since the earliest times they have carried profound symbolic meanings. Claire Preston's Bee offers a comprehensive survey of the natural and cultural history of the bee and explores the impressive body of literature that has grown out of man's search for honey.

Bee traces the bee's role in art, politics, and social thought, drawing on scientific studies, literature, and historical texts. The volume examines the evolution of the bee's cultural image from a symbol of virtue and civility to the dangerous swarms of killer bees in Hollywood horror flicks. From ancient political analogies to Renaissance debates about monarchy to studies of bee behavior that portend ominous conclusions for our own socialization and use of technology, Bee analyzes the complex connections between the bee and human culture.
Written with energy and enthusiasm, Bee offers an original and fascinating meditation on this tiny workaholic.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ma_Washigeri - LibraryThing

Some pretty pictures, some glaring factual errors in the biology chapter and elsewhere, and the language was pretty turgid and the sections unstructured. If it had not been about bees I would have looked at the pictures and then abandoned it. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ma_Washigeri - LibraryThing

Some pretty pictures, some glaring factual errors in the biology chapter and elsewhere, and the language was pretty turgid and the sections unstructured. If it had not been about bees I would have looked at the pictures and then abandoned it. Read full review

Contents

The Reasons for Bees
7
Biological Bee
19
Kept Bee
31
Political Bee
51
PiousCorrupt Bee
74
Utile Bee
91
Aesthetic Bee
98
Folkloric Bee
111
Retired Bee
160
Timeline
166
References
169
Bibliography
185
Associations Websites
191
Acknowledgements
193
Photo Acknowledgements
195
Index
197

Playful Bee
127
Bee Movie
135

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About the author (2006)

Claire Preston is a fellow and lecturer in English, Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge.

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