Welcome to The Bee Kingdom, a project by New York artist Joy Garnett.
The Bee Kingdom shares some of Garnett's research about her maternal grandfather, Egyptian Modernist poet Ahmed Zaky Abushâdy (1892-1955). The site offers glimpses of archival photographs, artworks and documents. Some of these materials draw directly from the family archive, while other materials reflect research conducted in libraries and archives further afield. The site includes press, articles and interviews with Garnett about her project.
Dr. Ahmed Zaky Abushady (1892-1955) was an influential Egyptian Modernist and Romantic poet. He is remembered in Egypt for founding and editing the seminal Modern Arabic poetry journal Apollo (1932-34), which provided one of the few platforms for experimental poetry in Egypt and across the Arab world.
In addition to writing and publishing poetry, Abushady was a bee scientist, inventor, physician, and bacteriologist. He trained in medicine at the University of London and began his bee research after graduating. He moved to a farm in Benson, Oxfordshire where he established a research station and launched his first bee science journal. The King's Patent Agency granted Abushady his first patent in 1919 for his design of a removable aluminum honeycomb; he registered four patents for beehive improvements in total. Abushady's innovative work in bee science and its relationship to his Modernist poetry and philosophy remains under-researched.
Abushady was inspired by the principles of the English Co-operative Movement and put his vision into practice by launching The Apis Club, a beekeeping co-operative that fostered best practices in bee husbandry. The Apis Club grew to an apiary of 600 hives and garnered over 13,000 members.
Abushady founded and edited two bee science journals in his lifetime. He launched Bee World in 1919 in Benson, which continues publication to this day through the International Bee Research Association (IBRA) in Cardiff, Wales.
After returning to Cairo, he founded The Bee Kingdom, a bilingual Arabic and English journal, along with its society of beekeepers and scientists The Bee Kingdom League. After organizing an international bee exposition in Cairo in 1931, Abushady was retained by King Farouk to administer and direct the Royal Apiaries.
Abushady's idealistic vision for a contemporary Egypt found expression in both bee husbandry and poetry. He believed that the bee held secrets to harmony in nature and culture, and that poetry could bridge gulfs between languages, cultures, and nations.