英语电子书|Bee (Reaktion Books – Animal)
书籍英文名：Bee (Reaktion Books – Animal)
书籍简介：“Bee” isn’t really a book about the biology of bees or history of beekeeping, although a few chapters on this have been included. Rather, it’s a book about the bee as a cultural or political symbol. The author is a lecturer in English literature. Indeed, the biology sections of the book contain sloppy mistakes. For instance, Preston doesn’t understand the exact taxonomical relationship between ants, wasps and bees. She also constantly refers to the Western honeybee as the only honey-making bee, yet mentions other honey-making bees as well, sometimes on the same page!
But then, the book is really about humans…
Preston points out that the honeybee has traditionally been a positive symbol in Western culture. The bee was considered chaste, virginal, hard-working and co-operative. Christians connected it to the virgin birth of Christ or the perpetual virginity of Mary (for a long time, people had no idea how bees reproduce). The bee supposedly left the Garden of Eden already before the fall of man, and was therefore a perfect divine creation. During the 16th and 17th centuries, many royalists claimed that the hive was controlled by a king bee. Supporters of a constitutional monarchy claimed that the worker-bees could overthrow a bad king bee. And a admirer of Elizabeth I pointed out (correctly) that the “king” bee was really a queen bee! Still others saw the beehive as a republic.