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Accepted Contribution:

Losing an Isolated Mating Area: Voluminous Socialities Between Ground and Air in Honeybee Breeding in Wartime Ukraine  
Tanya Richardson (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Contribution short abstract:

The concept of voluminous socialities is used to explain shifting relations between ground and air and between distant and proximate locations in establishing and losing the isolatedness of a mating area for honeybee queens.

Contribution long abstract:

In recent years, honeybee breeders in Transcarpathia, Ukraine have tried to establish isolated mating areas for the purposes of breeding Carpathian honeybees. Absolute isolation is difficult to achieve because villages are never far away and because of bees’ aerial mobilities and mating practices. Many Carpathian breeders nevertheless set up isolated mating areas in order to assert some control over mating by reducing the likelihood of encounters between their queens and undesired drones. In choosing the ground on which to locate mating areas careful attention is paid to features such as topography, windiness, nectar-bearing flowers, sun exposure, road access, and proximity to villages with other beekeepers. This presentation focuses on how one of these remote mountain isolated mating areas lost its isolatedness. Large numbers of swarms flew up the valley to settle in tree hollows, likely because Russia’s war on Ukraine prevented beekeepers from selling their splits. This forced the breeder to set up on new ground higher up in the mountains in closer proximity to bears, who may try to dig under electric fences if they can’t disable them. I develop the concept of voluminous socialities to explain shifting relations between ground and air and between distant and proximate locations. A bear toenail will serve as the entry point to the story.

Roundtable RT178
Doing and undoing grounds: rethinking the groundings of anthropocene anthropology
  Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -