Accepted paper:

Bee-topia: doing politics with honeybees

Author:

Michaela Fenske (Universit├Ąt W├╝rzburg)

Paper short abstract:

Based on a case study of urban-beekeeping in the German capital of Berlin, my contribution is to discuss the practices, aims and visions of urban beekeeping within the theoretical framework of Political Anthropology and Human Animal Studies.

Paper long abstract:

Since 2006, Western media discuss the so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The European honeybee, important not only for its production of honey but also because it pollinates vegetables and other plants, is dying in huge quantities. Researchers, politicians and the interested public discuss the reasons for CCD without being able to propose a solution. At the same time, more and more people living in the towns of industrialized countries have begun urban beekeeping. As part of the green and food movements, the bee movement discusses the orders and models of Western societies. Today, bee hives are kept on the roofs of important public buildings in the capitals of the Western world - including parliament and bank buildings. The honey bee, that since antiquity has been discussed as a "political animal", is once more used as a political argument, in particular as a role model for the discussion of political, economic and social orders. Based on a case study of urban-beekeeping in the German capital of Berlin, my contribution is to discuss the practices, aims and visions of urban beekeeping within the theoretical framework of Political Anthropology and Human Animal Studies.

panel P004
Environmental crisis, humans and all others