Introduction and Overview, 13 July

A summary of our first discussion on 13 July appears at the bottom of this section.


(a) Purpose and Description of the Alec Finlay National Bees Art Project
The Bee Bole

(b) Bees in the news: the urgent, extreme and global ecological plight:

Chapter 5, The Three D’s
(Excerpt from The Bad Beekeepers Club by BBC Correspondent and beekeeper, Bill Turnbull)

Horizon, What’s Killing Our Bees, broadcast 2 Aug 13, BBC2
Bee decline linked to falling biodiversity
Help call for vanishing honeybees
The economic value of honeybees

(c) The five topics for monthly group discussion on Bees and Philosophy and how these interrelate to the major philosophy sub-groupings

(d) Brief Overview of the Subject Matter and Scope of Philosophy: the 5 essential Sub-groupings of Metaphysics/Ontology (Theories of Existence); Epistemology (Theories of Knowledge); Ethics and Morality; Aesthetics; Politics; and how these interrelate

Background information:

Honey Bee (Wikipedia)

C E M Joad, Teach Yourself Philosophy, Subject Matter and Scope
Joad, Philosophy, chapter 2

BBC 4: Who Killed the Honey Bee?
BBC programme synopsis:
Bees are dying in their millions. It’s an ecological crisis that threatens to bring global agriculture to a standstill. Introduced by Martha Kearney, this documentary explores the reasons behind the decline of bee colonies across the globe, investigating what might be at the root of this devastation. Honey bees are the number one insect pollinator on the planet, responsible for the production of over 90 crops. Apples, berries, cucumbers, nuts, cabbages and even cotton will struggle to be produced if bee colonies continue to decline at the current rate. Empty hives have been reported from as far afield as Taipei and Tennessee. In England, the matter has caused beekeepers to march on parliament to call on the government to fund research into what they say is potentially a bigger threat to humanity than the current financial crisis. Investigating the problem from a global perspective, the programme travels from the farm belt of California to the flatlands of East Anglia to the outback of Australia. They talk to the beekeepers whose livelihoods are threatened by colony collapse disorder, the scientists entrusted with solving the problem, and the Australian beekeepers who are making a fortune replacing the planet’s dying bees. They also look at some of the possible reasons for the declining numbers – is it down to a bee plague, pesticides, malnutrition, or is the answer something even more frightening?

A summary of our first discussion on 13 July:
Session One Summary, Intro and Overview

Lucille Valentine has provided an extremely useful link to a research article on bees and crop pollination and pesticides for which I thank her most cordially. It can be found at (Peter/Hemlockian34)


2 thoughts on “Introduction and Overview, 13 July

  1. Hi, I’m new to this forum, and at the risk of taking coals to Newcastle, there was probably mention of Laline Paull’s THE BEES and Peggy Hesketh’s TELLING THE BEES, at your session. They are both books that could be used in school/ college for introducing the life of bees/ philosophy/ disability and many other issues. Thanks for the reading lists and links. Happy reading, though I’ve found the viewing disturbing.

  2. Welcome Margaret! Your book references are most useful and, no, we didn’t discuss these novels but I did use Hesketh’s non-fiction work on bees extensively as background. It is wonderful to see that people like you still find the site useful after such a long time since the actual classes, and you have inspired me to attend to the website and update it again! Thank you so much and I will be writing more in a little while.

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