This book examines apian imagery—bees, drones, honey, and the hive—in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literary and oral traditions. In England and the New World colonies during a critical period of expansion, the metaphor of this communal society faced unprecedented challenges even as it came to emblematize the process of colonization itself. The beehive connected the labor of those marginalized by race, class, gender, or species to larger considerations of sovereignty. This study examines the works of William Shakespeare; Francis Daniel Pastorius; Hopi, Wyandotte, and Pocasset cultures; John Milton; Hester Pulter; and Bernard Mandeville. Its contribution lies in its exploration of the simultaneously recuperative and destructive narratives that place the bee at the nexus of the human, the animal, and the environment. The book argues that bees play a central representational and physical role in shaping conflicts over hierarchies of the early transatlantic world.

    chapter |28 pages


    Abusing the Hive

    chapter 1|25 pages

    Bee Time


    chapter 2|29 pages

    Hive Split

    The New World Colonists

    chapter 3|28 pages

    Stingless and Stinging

    Native American Kinship

    chapter 4|20 pages

    Honey Production and Consumption


    chapter 5|28 pages

    Worker Bee Sacrifice


    chapter |17 pages


    The Transatlantic Grumbling Hive