Colony Collapse and the Global Swarm to save the Bees: Sacred Relations with Bees in Film and Literature

Yogi Hale Hendlin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Colony collapse disorder—the dominant term describing massive global bee die-offs—has garnered significant international attention and regulatory intervention. While dominant responses to anthropogenically imperiled bees can be interpreted as economic or narrow self-interested, the global response arising from a spiritual register is less discussed. Artistic expressions of the bee crisis—such as Starhawk’s novel The Fifth Sacred Thing and the film Queen of the Sun—illustrate spiritual resonances with bees, evoking emotions which lead to commitments of interspecies solidarity more compelling than most contemporary scientific and popular conversations around the issue. By examining these forms of artistic expression as closing the resonance and intimacy gap between our and their species, I argue that to pragmatically aid bee population regeneration, we must fundamentally reconfigure lifestyles to instantiate our spiritual commitments to ecological justice. As contemporary scientific analysis alone has failed to motivate this ecological reorientation, embracing the political and personal power that comes from acknowledging spiritual connection and commitments presents an alternate possibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-558
Number of pages27
JournalWorld Futures
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


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