Since time immemorial, bees have been associated with all manner of virtues. The beehive has served as the model for an ideal society, while honey and wax have provided the basis for countless positive metaphors of sweetness and productivity. The natural architecture created by bees in their hives can be said to approach perfection. In "The Beehive Metaphor", Juan Antonio Ramirez shows how this lucid modular structure had a considerable influence on the architects and artists who founded the Modern movement. Models from both traditional and 'modern' or 'rational' apiculture were studied and reinterpreted by such key figures as Gaudi, Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Beuys. Inspired by his own father's obsession with bee-keeping - which wiped out the family's fortune - Ramirez examines the complex ideological, political and artistic repercussions of apian metaphors, thereby enhancing our understanding of the relationship between ecology, animal husbandry and architecture.