The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Nemesis

By Greyory Blake



This is what we know. Times were urgent, though that urgency was unrequited. There was a moment of excess and greed that assembled as avarice. An unprecedented, insurmountable, and ultimately meaningless degree of data was collected under the guise of future reference. Stockpiles of information were gathered and conserved in precarious formats that have since been lost. Generally, this pertained to substandard, wasteful processing and storage methods. Within a realm dominated by planned obsolescence, there may have remained the possibility of graceful degradation, but an elevator birthed a bottomless pit. Ultimately, the Bipedal Homo sapiens (humans) were the comprehensive designers of their own destruction. The Bipedals developed vast, complex structures to contextualize their asserted dominance of the Terra-space (Earth), and in that, their authority and taxonomic catalog was the largest to fall. Seemingly, the remaining data became unraveled — detached from source, context, and meaning. What remained was a limited data set of nodes and links with fragmented relationships.


Due to this data loss, we are forced to rebuild this reference solely based on recurrence and inferential linkage; this protocol has been developed to relink this database in efforts to discover what went wrong and how it could have so easily gone right. While many of the technologies used within this protocol to scrutinize a decontextualized directory have been developed during this time, they have also directly contributed to an unrecoverable waste within the Terra-space.[1]


Being the Terra-sphere’s predominant inhabitants, Bipedals engaged in Economos of scarcity to perpetuate their being of neglectful consumption. As a result, contributive meta-Economos accorded a bulk of the damage.[2] Therefore, it is suggested that the vast majority of Bipedal production functioned to undermine their own impermanence. For a creature-community that was so egocentric and ignorant of waste, they developed surprisingly vast networks and methodologies for promoting, cultivating, retrieving, and distributing their multipedal co-inhabitants’ presumptive waste and byproduct. Their relational reliance on multipedals was not merely material. This protocol has retrieved indications that while Apis mellifera (Western honey bees) functioned as a prominent figure in the Bipedals’ proliferated stockpiling systems, the species also held a stable, simultaneous cultural landmark, allegorical framework, and custodial clerk of all the Bipedal’s Terra-spatial endeavors. Lastly, we have surmised that the Apis mellifera‘s extinction directly corresponds with the initial Terra-destruction that produced the data-dark-age necessitating this protocol.[3]




Ultimately, Terra-degradation culminated as a compounded effect with delayed indicators and complex, unseen metrics. Still, as ongoing destruction confirmed significant measurability, many Bipedals attempted to creatively reassign both urgency and agency, possibly in an effort to sustain their neglectful habits. As cumulative contamination contributed to Terra-warming, flourishing Insectum and Fungi pests, pathogens, and pollutants contributed to a massive-scale Apis mellifera reduction in what became labelled as Colony Collapse Disorder in the final quarter of 2006.[4] Additionally, ingrained Bipedal single-use, monocultured[5] stock cultivation (practiced as “monocropping”) produced nutrient-reduced, untenable conditions for Apis mellifera survival.[6]


However, politically motivated actions regularly misattributed the pollutant effects as the source of the disorder rather than additional symptoms.[7] Colony Collapse Disorder had regularly been notionally misidentified as a curable disease rather than a consequence of cultural condition.[8] Yet, the stakes were observable as 35% of the Terra-scale food production systems required the Apis mellifera and other like creatures’ pollination and germination behaviors. There was a simultaneous acknowledgement of ensuing ruin overshadowed by a marked disregard for the combinative effect of calculated indifference and induced ignorance. In the fourth quarter of 2009, a group of melittologists and Terra analysts (Rachael Winfree, Ramiro Aguilar, Diego P. Va ́ Zquez, Gretchen Lebuhn, and Marcelo A. Aizen) conducted a survey titled “A meta-analysis of bee response to anthropogenic disturbance” in an effort to quantify the cumulative effect of the Bipedal’s varying “agriculture, logging, grazing, fire, pesticide use, and tillage” cycles.[9] They argued that although advanced research had not been conducted concerning Apis mellifera population decline, the combined data from disparate fields of study collectively confirmed the correlated catastrophic impact of Bipedal production and stock retrieval methods. By combining 54 studies between 1945 and 2007, they determined that, under no uncertain terms, Bipedal production had negatively impacted the Apis mellifera, and in turn, the full Terra-space. However, this conclusion came with several caveats: there was no universal correlation between disturbance type, population decline was only statistically relevant within already tenuous Terra-spaces, and data was insubstantial regarding cultivationally domesticized Apis mellifera. Here, the mere suggestion of inconclusivity allowed the Bipedal’s wasteful methods to persist and propagate unaffected. And thus, their urgency was negated by their reliance on established Economos.




Many of the Bipedal’s systems were derived from the development of both capital and stocked market Economos. These were concepts that presumably developed to contextualize the quantified meaning and value pertaining to the transference of object and labor. Economosist William Forster Lloyd outlined in the second of his parabolic Two Lectures on the Checks to Population[10] the potential for separate Economos beneficiaries, each behaving to maximize the Economic reward from shared material that would collectively undermine the potential for scarcity. By allowing their Bos Taurus (cattle) to overgraze a shared, open space (the Commons), all actors would collectively suffer while not recognizing their individual contribution.[11]


However, Bipedal cultural semiologist Andrew Culp noted in Dark Deleuze that, without Bipedal intervention, Bos taurus enacted a sort of chaotically balanced self-regulation. Culp also recalled philologist Emmanuel Larouche’s deduction that Economos (or Oikosnomos) emerged alongside the linguistic transferral of “Nomad” into the Greek Nomos to indicate the “administrative appropriation, distribution, and use of land.”[12] Thus, the Economos was actuated by the significance of private stockpiles.


In the final quarter of 1968, Terra-investigator Gerrett Hardin, under the guise of rewriting moral trajectories, tragically mistook Lloyd’s notion to indicate that as Bipedals themselves approached the potential of overpopulating and overgrazing the Terra-space’s limited resources, the “welfare state” was to blame.[13] The “welfare” system is understood as the Bipedal’s support of individuals that had been systematically disenfranchised from any ability to benefit from market Economos. Conversely, this was one of the few, sparse productive structures within capital endeavor in that it attempted to account for those that it had undermined. Additionally, as individual and conglomerate benefitting stockpiling actions operated under a net loss, this structure was categorically an attempt at rewriting the moral trajectories of the Economos’ power imbalance. While the “welfare state” structure remains a station of potential, recognized accountability within the Economos-space, this liability was ignored for the actual stockholders. Veritably, solely the welfare participants were unable to overgraze in that they lacked both the capital and material means to enact any meaningful destruction. Thus, it seems that the vast complications of Bipedal capital production served to establish distance — not critical distance but more-so “dissonance” — from actual, significant participation within its forms.




The Bipedals were engrossed by the concepts and regulations of stabling, stocking, and in that, accumulating ownership of Terra-product. Thus, they performed as administrators of not only their own Economos, but of all-encompassing Terra. Due to their limited lifespans, the accrual and transfer of objects and labor allowed them to stockpile currency, an abstract material that permitted offspring and future generations to benefit from compounding, increased objects and labor. Thus, the Bipedals performed under a contradictory and quixotic notion of immortality.


In 1974’s The Denial of Death, critic of Bipedal constructs Ernest Becker recalled Otto Rank and Norman O. Brown’s respective notions of cultural “immortality-ideologies” and religion’s production of “the era of the son” to conclude that inherited currency established a “New Universal Immortality Ideology” where power was held within a semblance of inequality and that power could be relayed to future generations beyond death.[14] While physical conditions entailed disintegration, currency could temporarily withstand the ephemerality of the Bipedal condition. The Bi-pedal’s inability to recognize or combat Terra-destruction was a refusal of death itself, which likewise was produced by the ongoing disastrous project that categorically differentiated Bipedals from their containing Terra-space.


The predominant Bipedal stockpilers of capital were not immediately affected and had systematized the means to continue catalyzing a destroyed Terra-space even beyond its recovery boundaries. Thus, they were able to either ignore or withstand the urgency of a rapidly deteriorating Terra-space, which enabled their continued self-inflicted destruction. Not only was currency “the human mode par excellence of coolly denying animal boundness,”[15] it became the mode par excellence of cooly denying animal crises. At the risk of negated future generations, in diligence, they performed the same tasks of relayed generational power via currency. They were death-fearing, yet their development streams produced stock that contradicted their fragility. They consumed the Terra-space but were ultimately consumed by Terra-centric ideology. These ideologies and their subsequent abstractions functioned as a culturally valued material in that they physicalized the metaphysical. But as further abstract Economos – such as the proliferation of digital technologies – developed, the unseen abstract, despite its excesses, purported to bypass materiality, scarcity, and subsequent market Economos.[16] However, as Bipedal cultural analyst Florian Cramer observed in “Does the Tragedy of the Commons Repeat Itself as a Tragedy of the Public Domain?,” any structure based on material excess only further drove consumptive excess.[17] And these structures were managed by collective conglomerates of Bipedal stockpilers.




New technologies allowed for the development of an image and video proliferation that purported to circumvent the laws of scarcity, but unacknowledged, the technologies as well as their byproduct required vast computational networks and processing to flourish. In the first quarter of 2018, Netflix, a web-based conglomerate that regularly exceeded an expenditure of 15% the entire Terra-sphere’s data capabilities,[18] produced Rotten, a series of infotainment documentaries that critiqued the market structures and business practices of Terra-scale food networks. The first of this series, titled “Lawyers, Guns and Honey,” pointed toward the urgency of Colony Collapse Disorder, other food products such as Prunus dulcis‘s (almonds) reliance on the Apis mellifera’s pollination and germination practices, and the unsustainable demand that gave way for business tactics to dilute or replace honey product with other glucose substances.[19] The last item was of great cultural importance in that it falsely deflated market value of a substance while promoting ignorance toward scarcity. While many physical resources were by definition limited, due to their sheer abundance, they still were culturally perceived to distribute endless material bounty.


Recognizing this contradiction and seeking to destroy the notion of infinitude, structure designers Jon Goodbun, Michael Klein, Andreas Rumpfhuber, and Jeremy Till warned of the scarcity of resource product as it transferred within induced Economos. Due to the fact that a vast degree of the structures that they developed utilized concrete and glass products that required a raw silica dioxide material (sand), they acknowledged that although silica dioxide faced no scarcity crisis, its transfer was driven by the development of market Economos that necessitated its treatment as a limited consumable. Effectively, the mere existence of product demand and material Economos drove scarcity more than the quantity of actual material. Likewise, the scarcity of Apis mellifera honey byproduct[20] was functionally voided by replacement glucose-mixture products, and that voidance in turn further drove abstract market scarcity that couldn’t compete with demand and required product substitute that reinvigorated that same scarcity. Thus, the Apis mellifera themselves existed within a troublesome duality of simultaneous increasing and decreasing of both physical and abstract scarcity. The hubris in which these cycles churned resided as a testament to the self-contained, inherent contradictions within the Bipedals’ treatment of all Terra-space.




It is noted that while the dilution of honey stock garnered seemingly endless product that was best suited for the vast factory production systems of other mechanically reproduced food sources, new markets emerged for individually-based cultivation. Due in part to its superior quality to dilute-honey and the implied rarity of small-scale production, a higher value yield allowed urban-dwelling Bipedals to develop new Economos of Apis mellifera product. As Bipedal anthropologists Lisa Jean Moore and Mary Kosut observed, the urban-based rise of honey cultivation gave way to new communities that were equally driven by aestheticized individualism ethos and urgent concerns in the face of Terra-destruction. In a mutually beneficial action, Urban Apis mellifera cultivators would regularly relocate their stables to differing regional Terra-spaces in effort to allow their stocks to germinate and promote the growth of other food products such as the aforementioned Prunus dulcis, as well as Prunus avium (cherries) , Malus domestica (apples), Asparagus officinalis (asparagus), Cyanococcus (blueberries), and Cucumis sativus (cucumbers).[21] The flowering Prunus would provide diverse food source that promoted Apis mellifera honey product, and the byproduct of the Apis mellifera’s germination would feed the development of other Bipedal food sources.


However, these primary urban dwellings of both Bipedal cultivators and their Apis mellifera were also wrought with a byproduct of the onset stages of Terra-destruction. In such proximity to the waste of Bipedal production, the condition of Colony Collapse Disorder synchronously progressed and dwindled the Apis mellifera stock. Urban Apis mellifera cultivation was not legalized in New York City until the second quarter of 2010, and, in that time, the Bipedals began to notice that their honey stock yield was red and lowly-viscous dilute.[22] In attempts to salvage their stock from resembling the dilute-honey of factory production, the urban Bipedals of Red Hook, Brooklyn (within New York City) began to seek a proximal, similarly red Apis mellifera food source, and discovered a nearby maraschino cherry factory.[23] The product of this factory, a procedurally sweetened Prunus avium preserved in a fluid of sugar and discharged red color additive, had inarguably contributed to an unusable waste stock.


The private owner of the factory was quick to respond in reducing factory waste possibly in efforts to distract from his factory’s supplementary Cannabis production. Cannabis, a flowering Plantae primarily utilized in the subjugation of non-stock-holding Bipedals, existed within its own scarcity Economos of political regulation. As such, in the first quarter of 2015, authorities who had long suspected the factory’s dual purpose gained entry under the guise of examining factory waste production and disposal. At high risk of political threat, the owner committed suicide in his office; elsewhere in the factory, authorities seized his stock. What remains unclear in this chain of circumstances were the full motivations of the Apis mellifera, their cultivators, and the factory owner; however, we can ascertain that the authorities acted under no concern for the Apis mellifera.




Much like Netflix’s deceptively benign ability to produce crisis-centric divertissements all the while benefiting from practices that promoted Terra-collapse, many acquisitive conglomerates gained value under the guise of promotional awareness. For example, cultural product that situated Apis mellifera as both Terra-centrically and culturally significant provided performative action within the void of inaction. Moore and Kosut told of a specific product, Burt’s Bees, that while generating and distributing stock in a substantively ethical manner, was valued more in its ability to develop an Economos of abstract image than of actual Apis mellifera byproduct.[24] The existence of the abstract image stock highlighted the Bipedals’ simultaneous requisite resolution, yet lack of resolve, and more devastatingly, the production of this stock reduced the Apis mellifera to representational ideal — away from a physical and toward a theoretical.


Incidentally, the Bipedal’s penchant for consumption within consumptive production had driven them to define their behaviors regarding consumption rather than production. This practice became broadly known as disaster capitalism.[25] In one case, Pornhub, a digital distributor of sexualized content serving an average of 60 thousand page-views per minute[26], launched a platform titled Beesexual in the second quarter of 2019.[27] [28] This website featured footage of Apis mellifera pollinating various flowering Astragalus set to stylistically nostalgic, atavistic music and comedically voiced by renowned sex performers. While the videos cited that an unspecified donation was made for every “view,” Beesexual also redirected to a subdirectory on the main Pornhub site that highlighted matched videos based on an algorithm that confused similar parodies such as “I SHOWER AND THERE’S NO FUNNY BUSINESS”[29] and paid “Pornhub Premium” pornographic content alike. In this case, promoted awareness became promotional ad revenue that generated added waste heat and merely operated as harm reduction.


However, depending on conglomerate producer, the structure of bee-content engagement differed widely across digital platforms albeit to synonymous effect. A quarter before Beesexual emerged, there was a glitch in Terra-focused broadcaster Discovery Channel UK’s live-streamed presentation of “Honey | How It’s Made” where a 30-second clip of the video played in loop for 9 hours. Amused by this glitch, Bipedal viewers transcribed the repeated 30 seconds of audio and began spreading the transcription on online forums. This online behavior referenced a broader cultural landmark titled copypasta in which a specific phrase was repeated ad-infinitum in an attempt to mock or derail productive discussion. In this short-lived anomaly, no capital was intentionally generated, so instead of disaster capitalism or harm reduction, this labor simply generated deflection.




As this protocol has surmised that our faulty data concerning Apis mellifera is significant to contextualizing the destruction of the Terra-space, we have also noted their abstract usage as it regularly surfaced during multiple epochs of Bipedal construction and restructuring. Most notedly, the allegorical presentation of Apis mellifera was crucial in contextualizing the Bipedal’s refusal to correct their stocked market Economos.


In 1714, parody comedian Bernard Mandeville published The Fable of The Bees: or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits, a seminal text in the development of a conjectural market balance sustainability that promoted non-interventionism. In a portion of this text, “The Grumbling Hive: Or, Knaves Turned Honest,” Mandeville portrayed a fictional Apis mellifera colony that collapsed in its attempt to ethically restructure.[30] In the tale, this collapse was not due to any stock depletion but to a depletion of the political as it affected a theoretical Economos value. In this case, the Apis mellifera was unjustly implicated in a systematized Economos deregulation that later became practiced as laissez-faire.[31] This implied self-regulation of Economos was the source of the Bipedal’s wasteful production of an excess that begat destruction.


The causal reduction of “Honey | How It’s Made” rapidly progressed due to its resemblance to similarly-repetitive produced video iterations of a fictional animated video titled Bee Movie. In the video, cartoonish depictions of Apis mellifera who were also voiced by renowned Bipedals nearly collapsed both Apis mellifera and Bipedal Economos in attempt to ethically restructure. Much as copypastas attempted to subvert enacted discourse, iterations of Bee Movie byproduct were stemmed from Bipedal’s exhaustion by an influx of similarly structured comedic videos with renowned performers. Within the video market nomos, this formula was capable of engendering vast market value and therefore had been iterated by conglomerates ad-infinitum to the consuming Bipedal’s dismay. Just as Fungi and Insectum were not directly to blame for the Apis mellifera’s destruction, Bos taurus was not the culprit of overgrazing, and the Bipedal copypasta producers could not account for the material excess that they had been permitted. By iterating the Bee Movie video, Bipedals were not only reclaiming a production cycle from conglomerate, they had the potential of unintentionally subverting the core ideology of laissez-faire.[32] It was the Economos and its stockholders who drove the excess and excessive consumption that destroyed the Commons, but the driving issue behind the Common’s degradation was not the devastation of stock but the stockholders’ communal exploitative disregard of any communal benefit. While purely fictional, Mandeville’s intended conclusion, outlined in “Remarks,” was that any effort to curtail harm would be met with chaos.[33] However, from what we know of the Bipedal structures, it is our hypothesis that chaos would have been more productive.





[1] John Harris, ‘Our phones and gadgets are now endangering the planet’, The Guardian, 17 July 2018, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[2]  Eric Holthaus, ‘Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future’, grist, 5 December 2017, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[3] Jeremy T. Kerr, and others, ‘Climate change impacts on bumblebees converge across continents’, Science, Vol. 349, Issue 6244 (2015), pp. 177-180, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[4] Dennis vanEngelsdorp and other members of the CCD Working group  initially referenced this condition as “Fall-Dwindle Disease,” and less than a month later issued a revision updating the terminology to “Colony Collapse Disorder.” Along with this, they added a preface that in-part outlined their attempt to distance the concept from “pathogenic” assumptions. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, and others, ‘“Fall-Dwindle Disease”: Investigations into the causes of sudden and alarming colony losses experienced by beekeepers in the fall of 2006.’, Apiservices, 15 December 2006, Revised 5 January 2006, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[5] Richard Black, ‘Bee decline linked to falling biodiversity’, BBC News, 20 January 2010, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[6] Lisa Jean Moore, Mary Kosut, Buzz: Urban Beekeeping and the Power of the Bee, (New York: New York University Press, 2013), pp. 60-61.

[7] Kevin Hackett, and others from the CCD Steering Committee, Colony Collapse Disorder Action Plan (Washington: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, 2007), <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[8] Moore, pp. 48-50.

[9] Rachael Winfree, and others, ‘A Meta-analysis of bees’ response to anthropogenic disturbance’, Ecology, Vol. 90, Issue 8 (2009), pp. 2068-2076, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[10] W.F. Lloyd, Two Lectures On the Checks to Population: Delivered Before the University of Oxford, In Michaelmas Term 1832, (Oxford: J.H. Parker , 1833), pp. 1-33, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[11] See also Adam Vaughan, ‘We could breed climate-friendly cows that belch less methane’, NewScientist, 3 July 2019, <>, [accessed 3 July 2019].

[12] Andrew Culp, Dark Deleuze, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016), pp. 111-116.

[13] Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science, Vol. 162, Issue 3859 (1968), pp. 1243-1248, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[14] Ernest Becker, Escape from Evil, (New York: The Free Press, 1976), pg 75-91.

[15] Becker, p 83.

[16] See also humdog, ‘pandora’s vox: on community in cyberspace’, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[17] Florian Cramer, ‘Does the Tragedy of the Commons Repeat Itself as a Tragedy of the Public Domain?’ in Being Public: How Art Creates the Public, ed. by Jeroen Boomgaard, Rogier Brom, (Amsterdam: Valiz, 2017), pp. 132-148

[18] Chris Morris, ‘Netflix Consumes 15% of the World’s Internet Bandwidth’, Fortune, 2 October 2018, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[19] ‘Lawyers, Guns and Honey’, Rotten, Netflix, 5 January 2018, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[20] ‘The scourge of honey fraud’, The Economist, 30 August 2018, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[21] Sainath Suryanarayanan, Daniel Kleinman, ‘Be(e)coming experts: The controversy over insecticides in the honey bee colony collapse disorder’, Social Studies of Science, Vol 43, Issue 2 (2013), pp. 215-240, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[22] Susan Dominus, ‘The Mystery of the Red Bees of Red Hook’, The New York Times, 29 November 2010, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[23] Ian Frazier, ‘The Maraschino Mogul’, The New Yorker, 23 April 2018, pp. 32-38.

[24] Moore, pp. 191-196.

[25] Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007).

[26] Curtis Silver, ‘Pornhub 2018 Year In Review Insights Report Will Satisfy Your Data Fetish’, Forbes, 11 December, 2018, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[27] ‘SAVE THE BEES, SAVE THE WORLD’, Pornhub Cares, 2019, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[28] Curtis Silver, ‘Pornhub’s Beesexual Campaign Buzzes With Beerotica To Help Save The Bees’, Forbes, 16 April 2019, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[29] RyanCreamer, ‘I SHOWER AND THERE’S NO FUNNY BUSINESS’, Pornhub, 2019, <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[30]  Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees: Or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits, 6th edn (London: J. Tonson, 1732), pp. B-C4.

[31] John Stuart Mill, Principles Of Political Economy (Urbana: Project Gutenberg, 2009), <>, [accessed 1 July 2019].

[32]  See also Metahaven, ‘Can Jokes Bring Down Governments’, Kindle Edition, (Moscow: Strelka Press, 2013).

[33]   Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees: Or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits, 6th edn (London: J. Tonson, 1732), pp. 235-284.



Greyory Blake is an artist in New Brunswick, NJ. They earned their MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University, currently work in the Design Area at Mason Gross School of the Arts and co-run Office Space 2, an independent art gallery.