Working Bees to Death
Over a decade since the news of Colony Collapse Disorder hit the United States, many beekeepers and honey bees continue to struggle. Dr. Suryanarayanan, Assistant Scientist in the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, spoke in Richmond, VA and discussed how the “new normal” of honey bee deaths was shaped by historically established relationships of power and expertise between beekeepers, entomologists, growers, agrochemical corporations and governmental agencies.
Dr. Sainath Suryanarayanan has a background in social insect biology and science & technology studies. Sai’s current interdisciplinary scholarship sits at the juncture of environment, biology and society. His research explores how knowledge and power shape stakeholders’ understandings and responses to complex environmental problems. Using historically grounded social scientific approaches, Sai is investigating: (1) biomedical cultures of translational science; (2) indigenous health concerns in Wisconsin; (3) intersections between health systems and underserved populations at risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes in Wisconsin; (4) bee cultures; (5) inter-species resistance and decolonial resurgence in Latin American agri-cultures; (6) epistemological and ontological politics of social insect genomics; and (7) notions of environmental complexity. Dr. Suryanarayan co-authored “Vanishing Bees” with Daniel Lee Kleinman and teaches at the Nelson Institute's Center for Culture, History, and Environment at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Dr. Karen Rader, Director of VCU’s Science, Technology and Science Program and Dr. Sainath Suryanarayanan (Photography of Phillip Snyder of the Richmond Camera Club)
More photos from this event can be found here.
Related PBS Science Education Resources:
NOVA’swhere you can learn about bee anatomy, their special dances, and read an interview where the filmmaker explains how they captured the intimate lives of busy bees.
PBS Learning Media: The Bounty of Bees