Beekeeping for Detectives: Holmes’ Politics Redux


Well I was wrong, then, about Sherlock Holmes’ likely not-at-all distributist political views.  Granted, it’s Kanon, not Canon, but nevertheless…

What might one say of the intelligence of bees? On the one hand, it beggars the imagination that an entire species would permit itself to be enslaved, penned up, pushed about, and systematically pillaged for the hard-fought produce of a year’s labours.

Yet is this so remarkably different from the majority of human workers?  Are they not enslaved to the coal face or the office desk, told where to go and what to do by forces outside their control?  Do not the government and those who control prices in the market-place systematically rob human workers of all but a thin measure of the year’s earnings?

Holmes, S.   Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen. (1910)

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3 responses to “Beekeeping for Detectives: Holmes’ Politics Redux

  1. That’s why they call them “worker bees.”

  2. The figure of Holmes is an odd one. On one hand is a person who scoffs at the rituals of dealing with royalty (eg the King of Bohemia), whilst on the other toasting to the health of Queen Victoria (as memory serves). Why would his social and political thought not be likewise muddled?

    In a way, Holmes represents the hopeless muddle of Sir Arthur himself, a strangely conservative man interlaced with Liberal thought. Conflicting philosophies contained within one mind manifest themselves in the strangest of manners…

  3. Except our workspaces are cubical, not hexagonal.

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