Animal Studies Journal


This article offers a legal explanation for the decline of honeybees. While most investigations into bee populations and bee survival rates have been scientific, this article provides an additional set of causes, showing how our legal definitions of property and standards of negligence contribute to a landscape hostile to the lives of bees. Examining recent litigation in the United States and Canada, it shows how legal concepts of property impact the lives of bees, especially in cases of pesticide overspray near property boundaries, and in the forms of knowledge and ignorance in play in contesting duties of care in negligence cases. By expanding our understanding of the causes of bee death, this article points toward additional ways in which the stressors that bees face might be reduced.