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Why the Bees are Dying: An Ancient Solution to a Modern Problem

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What's the right way to think about Colony Collapse Syndrome? Why, through the lens of classical literature of course!  :)

i am kinda sad there was not a science answer of slaughtering bulls for bees or something along those lines.

Jared, just because there has not been a science answer so far, doesn't mean there won't be one soon!

"Aristaeus was a culture hero, honored for introducing such civilizing skills not only of beekeeping, but also of curdling milk to make cheese and taming wild oleaster to bear olives. In other words, he worked with the raw resources of nature, coaxing and plumbing them to bear their fruits for the good of mankind.

If nature, or the nymphs, is the domain of Aristaeus’ expertise, then perhaps it is not specifically sexual lust that drives him to chase Eurydice, but more generally, the human instinct for exploiting nature for profit.

To atone for this crime, Aristaeus is instructed to perform the bugonia, which as mentioned above involves the sacrifice of bulls.  The bull is a particularly symbolic animal, in that it is exemplary of the instinctual, semi-domesticated passions of man."

nymphs by bouguereau, nymphs painting, bouguereau painting

Read more: Why the Bees are Dying: An Ancient Solution to a Modern Problem | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building 

I love that Aristaeus was a culture hero and that he made cheese.  :)

He made olives, too:

ARISTAIOS (or Aristaeus) was the rustic god of shepherds and cheese-making, bee-keeping, honey, honey-mead, olive growing, medicinal herbs and the Etesian winds which eased the scorching heat of midsummer. His name was derived from the Greek word aristos, "most excellent" or "most useful."

The Greek God of cheese and olives?! You can't make a Greek Salad without him!

Agnes, the point of the story isn't to kill bulls.

The point of the story is that we must make a sacrifice if we want to save the bees:

The only common solution would be a change in our attitude to the earth. To understand that the earth is animate, and that we are in a constant dialogue with it. And when we treat it disrespectfully, it will not remain inert, but respond in kind, as the nymphs did to Aristaeus, with the death of the bees.

Aristaeus is a hero because his journey entails the emblematic, obligatory initiation through death to rebirth. A new swarm of bees is born from the dead bulls. But the journey’s real value to the hero is a conscious recognition of his crime and the consequent refinement of his natural instincts. Its value to us is a timeless lesson to heed and emulate towards resolving our current, very pressing crisis.

Like Aristaeus, we must make a sacrifice. A sacrifice of our greed for profit. A sacrifice of our old attitudes and outdated ways of treating the earth. We must become reborn to a new consciousness that reciprocates the gifts that the earth has so generously provided. A return that will effect a balance in our relationship with nature, and a renewed blossoming in its bounty–bees included.

The Whole Foods produce department in a world without bees:

Whole Foods Shows Customers the Bleak Future of Produce Without Bees WHOLE FOODS MARKET PRODUCE DEPARTMENT - Gallery Page 1 â Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building


At least there are still... Oranges...

I'm all for making a sacrifice.  Let's slay Monsanto... that'll surely get the bees a buzzin again.

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