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“The four major inventions transforming beekeeping from a sideline interest to an industry appeared within a fifteen-year span: the moveable frame hive (1851), the wax comb foundation (1857), the centrifugal honey extractor (1865), and the bellows smoker (1873).”

Rev. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth = Bee Space / Langstroth Hive
Johannes Mehring = Wax Foundation
Fransesco de Hruschka = Extractor
Moses Quinby = Smoker 

 [via Bees in America - How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation]

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“Bees figure prominently in mythology and have been used by political theorists as a model for human society. Journalist Bee Wilson states that the image of a community of honey bees “occurs from ancient to modern times, in Aristotle and Plato; in Virgil and Seneca; in Erasmus and ShakespeareTolstoy, as well as by social theorists Bernard Mandeville and Karl Marx.”

Despite the honey bee’s painful sting and the stereotype of insects as pests, bees are generally held in high regard. This is most likely due to their usefulness as pollinators and as producers of honey, their social nature, and their reputation for diligence. Bees are one of the few insects regularly used on advertisements, being used to illustrate honey and foods made with honey (such as Honey Nut Cheerios).

In ancient Egypt, the bee was seen to symbolize the lands of Lower Egypt, with the Pharaoh being referred to as “He of Sedge and Bee” (the sedge representing Upper Egypt).

In North Americayellow jackets and hornets, especially when encountered as flying pests, are often misidentified as bees, despite numerous differences between them.

Although a bee sting can be deadly to those with allergies, virtually all bee species are non-aggressive if undisturbed and many cannot sting at all. Humans are often a greater danger to bees, as bees can be affected or even harmed by encounters with toxic chemicals in the environment (see also bees and toxic chemicals).”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee

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http://www.cultureunplugged.com/swf/embedplayer.swf

“THE BEEKEEPER” – experimental documentary by Richard Robinson

“…but whatever the intended metaphor for taking bees into space, one thing is clear – when the minors used the canaries to test the mines for methane gas… they knew that if the canaries died, the mines weren’t safe to go in – so they would stay home and not go into the mines.  But the bees as the new canaries in the coal mine…things are a little be different.  We don’t have the option that the coal miners did.  The coal mine is now the whole planet and there’s no where else to go.

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