Being with Bees, Sitting with Complexity

The Changing Bee in a Meshwork of Entanglements

August 19, 2015

Daksha Madhu Rajagopalan

Rajagopalan1

I am walking this afternoon under the burning-crisp summer sun. Limestone surrounds me: in rough rock, in hewn rock, in built houses. The vivid blue Mediterranean Sea, extending from the horizon, also peeks out from the nearby bay, which appears yet distant because it is a steep descent to beach level. I am on the island of Gozo, the second largest of the Maltese Islands. Gozo is hillier and more agricultural than its sister island, Malta. There is a rich tradition of beekeeping on these islands, extending to Roman and perhaps pre-Roman times, and this month of June finds me in Gozo to research the contemporary beekeeping tradition and understand the human­­–bee, flower–hive interactions.

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Spillover Anthropology

Multispecies Epidemiology and Ethnography

August 5, 2015

Genese Marie Sodikoff

In November 2014, Madagascar was hit by a major outbreak of bubonic plague. Its epicenter was in Amparafaravola, a midsize town with a hospital staff that was caught off guard. Public outreach was slow and disorganized, dispensaries were understocked with antibiotics, and people did not believe the new fever was the actual plague … until several deaths occurred.

The evolution of the disease into the more lethal pneumonic variety risked a cataclysmic rise in mortalities. Health-care providers feared it would spread like wildfire into the capital, Antananarivo, where it has long existed at low-grade levels, especially within prisoner and homeless populations.
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