The eighteenth-century Swiss naturalist François Huber (1750–1831), who is still credited with much of what we know about bees, was almost completely blind when he made his acute ‘observations’ and significant discoveries. Huber studiously recorded the queen bee’s ‘nuptial flight’ and method of impregnation, her reproduction of very useful worker bees when inseminated and less useful drones by parthenogenesis (i.e. without insemination), and her violent, stinging duels with rival queens. Wrought from painstaking experiment, his findings inadvertently challenged common associations of the queen and her commonwealth with chastity, virgin conception, and peaceful government.
Keegan O’Connor reviews 'A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings: A year of keeping bees' by Helen Jukes
A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings: A year of keeping bees
by Helen Jukes
Scribner, $35 hb, 293 pp, 9781471167713
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Keegan O’Connor is a writer and teacher of English Literature and English as a Second Language living in Melbourne. His current research concerns the American afterlives of seventeenth-century British authors. In 2018, he co-curated the film seasons ‘Alice is Everywhere’ (ACMI) and ‘Gregory J. Markopoulos and the Cantrills: The Language of the Image’ (NGV).
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.