Jade Standing is a PhD candidate in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia. Her work focuses on late medieval and early modern literature and her research interests include scholasticism, law in literature, Shakespeare, and bees.

Bees, Buying Local and Bugonia

The classical term bugonia means the spontaneous generation of bees from the carcass of an ox.

In this course, we consider the ancient bee-generating art of bugonia as a trope with modern applicability. We study how bees are seen and often used as icons of regeneration, hope and new life, and we also think through wider issues of environmental degradation and restoration projects. We read part of a farming manual by Virgil, we look at histories, mythologies, and different cultural uses of bees and their products, and we explore ecological and economic issues affecting apiculture today. The pollination services offered by bees to their local environments epitomize the concept of ‘buying local’ and its ethos of sustainability and care for the planet. We close the course with a study of the influences behind buying local and examine different application models. This multi-discourse approach to a topic provides a foundation for engaging thoughtfully with scholarly conversations and published research from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including writing about these research perspectives and producing research of your own.