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Our Future with Bees

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Reception to follow
Members only with no fee

Our Future with Bees

Noah Wilson-Rich

If you eat food, you need bees. The world’s bees can create economic and ecological sustainability, if only we let them. As pollinators, bees bring us over 100 fruit and vegetable crops and provide feed for our livestock industry. Yet bees are dying at an alarming rate. Data from urban environments indicate that bees are doing better in cities. Why is this? Learn how to get involved in urban beekeeping, and how to save these vitally important creatures.

Noah Wilson-Rich, PhD, is a biologist / professor / New York Times & Los Angeles Times op-ed contributor / two-time TEDx speaker / TV personality / beekeeper / uncle.  He has twenty academic publications to date through affiliations with Harvard, Tufts, MIT, and Northeastern Universities. His book, The Bee: A Natural History, was released in 2014 through Princeton University Press (US) and Ivy Press Ltd. (UK). Wilson-Rich is a founding partner and current chief scientific officer of The Best Bees Company, a beekeeping service that delivers, installs, and manages beehives for residential and commercial properties nationwide. He partnered his national book tour with the expansion of The Best Bees Company across eight cities, meeting with and hiring local beekeepers along the way. Wilson-Rich earned his PhD in biology from Tufts University in 2011. His research focuses on ways to improve bee health.

Proceeds from The Best Bees Company go toward research conducted at the Urban Beekeeping Laboratory and Bee Sanctuary, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, based in Boston’s South End. For more information, visit and

This event is funded by the William Orville Thomson Endowment.

The Boston Athenæum contains several books dedicated to the art of beekeeping—including L.L. Langstroth’s A Practical Treatise on the Hive and Honey-Bee (1859). This book contains seventy-seven beautifully rendered woodcut engravings and delightful writing, such as Langstroth’s description of the characteristics of a “robber” bee:

It is sometimes difficult for the novice to discriminate between honest inhabitants of a hive, and the robbers which often mingle with them. There is, however, an air of roguery about a thieving bee which, to the expert, is as characteristic as the motions of a pickpocket to a skillful policeman. Its sneaking look, and nervous, guilty agitation, once seen, can never be mistaken. (261-262)

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Most programs held in the Bayard Henry Long Room on the Athenaeum's first floor are amplified and assistive listening devices are available for patron use.

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To request ASL interpretation services for any of the Athenaeum's programs, please contact Hannah Weisman at 617-720-7617 or