8 Lectures in Dornach, Nov 26, 1923 to Dec 22, 1923 (CW 351)
In 1923 Rudolf Steiner predicted the dire state of today's honeybee. He stated that, within fifty to eighty years, we would see the consequences of mechanizing the forces that had previously operated organically in the beehive. Such practices include breeding queen bees artificially.
The fact that over sixty percent of the American honeybee population has died during the past ten years, and that this trend is continuing around the world, should make us aware of the importance of the issues discussed in these lectures. Steiner began this series of lectures on bees in response to a question from an audience of workers at the Goetheanum.
From physical depictions of the daily activities of bees to the most elevated esoteric insights, these lectures describe the unconscious wisdom of the beehive and its connection to our experience of health, culture, and the cosmos.
Bees is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the true nature of the honeybee, as well as those who wish to heal the contemporary crisis of the beehive. Bees includes an essay by David Adams, "From Queen Bee to Social Sculpture: The Artistic Alchemy of Joseph Beuys."
The art and social philosophy of Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) is among the most influential of the twentieth century. He was strongly influenced by Rudolf Steiner's lectures on bees. The elemental imagery and its relationship to human society played an important role in Beuys's sculptures, drawings, installations, and performance art. Adams' essay on Beuys adds a whole new dimension to these lectures, generally considered to be directed more specifically to biodynamic methods and beekeeping.
C O N T E N T S:
Introduction by Gunther Hauk
Eight Lectures by Rudolf Steiner
Appendix” Extracts from Various Lectures
Afterword by David Adams:
“From Queen Bee to Social Sculpture: The Artistic Alchemy of Joseph Beuys”
This volume consists of 8 lectures (of 15) from Mensch und Welt. Das Wirken des Geistes in der Natur. Über das Wesen der Bienen (GA 351).
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.
brings four decades of experience as a biodynamic beekeeper, gardener, and farmer. In 1996 he cofounded the Pfeiffer Center, one of the first biodynamic training programs in the US. Since then, he has been invited to teach around the world. His book Toward Saving the Honeybee
was first published in 2002. In 2006, Gunther and his wife Vivian founded Spikenard Farm and Honeybee Sanctuary in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains (spikenardfarm.org). His work was featured in two full-length documentary films about the honeybee crisis: Queen of the Sun
(2010) and Vanishing of the Bees
(2009). Gunther also produced his own educational film, Hour of Decision
(2015). - David Adams
holds a Ph.D in art history education and has taught art history at state universities and art schools for eight years. He has written numerous published articles, essays, and art exhibition booklets. He is currently an adjunct faculty in art history at Sierra College, director of the Center for Architecture & Design Research, and a freelance writer and editor. -