"Bee" by Claire Preston
"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.