GERMAN 325 - Intermediate German
Spring 2020, Section 101 - The Hidden Life of German Bees
Instruction Mode: Section 101 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: German (GERMAN)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures


Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
GERMAN 230 or 232 or RCLANG 291 or the equivalent as per placement test results.
Other Course Info:
Taught in German.
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


In this course, students are provided the unique opportunity to explore the lifecycle, behavior, and cultivation of honeybees at a point in time when the future of the honeybee appears unclear. Massive die-offs have afflicted bee populations in some parts of the world, highlighting humans’ dependency upon honeybees to pollinate a vast array of fruits and vegetables — some 30% of the human diet, it is often claimed. While this unfolding situation is global in scale, ecological in character, and dynamic in terms of its volatility, the study of honeybees and their behavior also can be intensely local and strangely joyous, intimate, mysterious, and captivating.

Germany and German-speaking Europe provide the perfect cultural perspective from which to approach the relationship between bees and humans. Germany is one of the world’s largest consumers of honey and is home to the some of the world’s most renowned honeybee researchers and innovative beekeepers. Austria and Switzerland likewise offer strong beekeeping traditions and research accomplishments.

Over the course of the semester, students learn about bee anatomy and the inner workings of honeybee hives and the roles of queens, drones, and worker bees. Students learn in detail about the wonders of pollination, honey production, and swarm behavior. Students will be able to taste-test honey, examine honey comb, wax, nectar, and pollen, and handle modern beekeeping equipment. At the end of the term, we examine larger ecological questions, such as large-scale commercial pollination, the use of pesticides and herbicides, the spread of bee diseases, and possible solutions to the mass death of honeybees.

Course Requirements:

Student grades will be based upon attendance, participation, four to five essays, and an exam.

Intended Audience:

The course is designed for students who are prepared for the 300-level of German, who wish to improve their language skills in the areas of speaking and writing, as well as in reading and listening comprehension. Although primarily about honeybees, the course teaches the kinds of vocabulary and language skills that apply to all levels of German, and all fields of endeavor.

Class Format:

Seminar format. All readings and discussions will be in German.


GERMAN 325 - Intermediate German
Schedule Listing
101 (REC)
MWF 10:00AM - 12:00PM
Note: Course instruction is remote and synchronous. Enrolled students are expected to be available remotely during all scheduled class times.

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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