As a natural mode of their reproduction, honeybees swarm. Followed by thousands of bees, the old queen leaves her hive to establish a new one, and a young queen will build her hive with the remaining bees. Ever since humans domesticated honeybees with the goal of having a good harvest, they have aimed to suppress the swarming drive. Since antiquity, the negative effects of swarming were a core element of narrations. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, this attitude changes fundamentally. The article addresses these changes in narratives about swarming bees in popular culture, art, and everyday life. Inspired by the ideas of Jean-François Lyotard and other postmodernists concerning a “master idea” of narratives, the article discusses changing metanarratives in times of crisis. Today there is a growth of positive tales about swarming, revealing new attitudes and a new relationship of humans toward their natural environments.
"Narrating the Swarm: Changing Metanarratives in Times of Crisis,"
Narrative Culture: Vol. 4
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/narrative/vol4/iss2/4