The Smell of Selfless Love: Relational Ethics in Alternative Apicultural Practices
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Green, Kelsey Leigh
The sudden decline of pollinator populations worldwide has caused significant alarm in recent decades. Apis Mellifera, the European honeybee, is thought to be responsible for pollination of 71 of the 100 crop species which provide 90% of the worlds’ food supply. Large quantitative research efforts have struggled to understand decline, and findings focus on Colony Collapse Disorder, a collection of symptoms with various drivers such as industrialized agricultural practice, pollution and habitat loss. Others, however, are questioning more qualitative aspects of decline. Utilizing a theoretical framework of more-than-human geography, and engaging with relational ethics, this paper seeks to explore these alternate explanations through investigations of present alternative apicultural practices, past human-honeybee historical ecological legacies, and the future implications relations may hold for addressing honeybee decline as well as other pressing environmental issues.