Following 'a box of bees': coming to know and do the work of the Langstroth Hive (16909)
Squatting in the damp grass a Langstroth hive might easily be mistaken for 'a box of bees'. This hive type is the dominant apicultural apparatus used by both commercial and hobbiest beekeepers in New Zealand, and can be located within New Zealand’s governing pastoral metrologies. A diffractive posthuman ‘following’ of hives in Rotorua, New Zealand gets inside the lively relations coalescing in the body of the hive. The hive emerges as a significant biopolitical intervention in the management of Apis mellifera; and I argue, one of the most powerful mechanisms through which ‘bees’ come to be framed and mobilised to do particular work. A contribution to understandings of the hive and the honey bee, and their intersections with anthropocentric production is made by exploring the gathering-revealing of the Langstroth hive apparatus and its constitution as a site of intervention revealed around the assemblage of things, thereby subverting hegemonic modernist framings of ‘the hive’ as merely ‘a box of bees’.