Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Bee Whisperer

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Cruikshank, Bee Swarm
Loretta reports:

One of the delights of Hone’s Every-Day Book  is an entry like this one.

I was especially struck by the concluding paragraph. It’s all too easy to cite instances of animal cruelty during previous centuries. Horses, for instance, were worked to death. All the same, hundreds of years before PETA, it isn’t unusual to read expressions of concern like this—or see compassion for animals in prints.

Hogarth’s Cruelty is but one example.  Henry Alken’s print series, The High-Mettled Racer, sympathetically follows the career of a race horse to his sad end, as does Charles Dibdin’s poem of the same name.
Bee Management

Bee Management

 Image: George Cruikshank, Pic Nic party disturbed by a Swarm of Bees, 1826, courtesy of The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Roger Gosden said...

Lovely story. As a beekeeper and biologist I guess (if the story is not awfully exaggerated) that someone knew they could use bees as theatre and entertain the nobility if they played with a swarm. In that state bees are almost passive because they don't have any honey stores to protect. Another way of safely playing with bees is with drones because they can't sting, but they are a tiny minority in a hive.

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