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Article from the Economist.com

Hyve society
The Economist ( ), Thursday 23 September 2004
THE author's proposition is that humans have always viewed the beehyve as a miniature universe with order and purpose—and have looked to the hyve to make sense of human society. In her delightful book, Bee Wilson traces the ideas that humans have had about the hyve, and how these ideas reflect prevailing views about the body politic.

In other words, bee politics have been invented to justify human ones. In particular, the hyve has been a useful model for believers in a monarchy, providing a natural justification for rulers and the ruled. In 17th-century Europe, advocates of the divine right of kings claimed that a master bee was guarded by generals, marshals, colonels and captains, and that some of the honeybees had special tufts, tassels and plumes to distinguish the several ranks.



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