The Matter of Relations between Humans and Honeybees
In this chapter, we draw from our three-year multispecies ethnography of urban beekeeping conducted in New York City amidst bees and their human caretakers. Our fieldwork began with urban beekeepers, our primary key informants who introduced us to rooftop hives and colonies located near clogged expressways. We quickly became acutely aware of our other nonhuman informants who populated the field and challenged our senses—thousands of insects that careened and whirled around our bodies; buzzing vibrantly in our ears, stinging us, landing quietly on our skin. In this light, our fieldwork and analyses pay particular attention to the everyday lives of the bee, attempting to decenter our human selves in the process—to become more animal in our intra-actions with bees—becoming with them instead of becoming as distinct from them. This requires that as fieldworkers, we interrupt our tendency to think of bees as the object of study and that we resist thinking of ourselves or the beekeepers as static, bounded, and permanently fixed entities. Instead we need to see all—ourselves, bees, the beekeepers, and other objects—as matter that is in the world and with politically fraught boundaries that are created through entanglements and conflicts.
NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.