Rhetoric of Beekeeping: Science, Technology & Innovation
This paper analyzes the rhetoric surrounding the field of biodiversity conservation and suggests the rhetoric presented by online beekeeping communities as a model for a larger citizen science movement. In the advent of the Anthropocene, conservationists argue that we must move beyond traditional conservation paradigms and embrace a sustainability model marrying humans, nature, and technology as one unit rather than three dichotomous spheres. This paper researches rhetoric within online beekeeping forums and finds that three themes continue to dominate the discourse and can be identified as (1) participatory citizen science, (2) democratic political resistance, and (3) professional-amateur innovation. Finally, the paper expands into the importance of engaged scholarship as it presents recommendations for sustainability, scalability, and a digital online space for local DC beekeepers called LiveHive. Here DC beekeepers converse on an online forum about the use of digital sensors, citizen science, and political engagement. The research documents my own exploration into the making of digital sensors for beehive monitoring and further lays the groundwork for how Georgetown University can begin their own journey into the local beekeeping network.
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