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MatteringFeminism, Science, and Materialism$
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Victoria Pitts-Taylor

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479833498

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479833498.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

Urban Api-Ethnography

Urban Api-Ethnography

The Matter of Relations between Humans and Honeybees

(p.245) 14 Urban Api-Ethnography

Mary Kosut

Lisa Jean Moore

NYU Press

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.

Keywords:   beekeeping, honeybees, critical animal studies, multispecies ethnography, colony collapse disorder

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