The gentle art of beekeeping has been turned into a new art medium by these two artists. I’d love to try making a sculpture like these,
but as Kimberley pointed out, the artists have to sacrifice a lot of
brood to accomplish their very interesting work.
New York magazine has a cool slideshow of artist Hilary Berseth’s
hive-built sculptures and how he builds them.
Aganetha Dyck is a Canadian artist who is making sculpture with the bees’ help by putting objects in the hive and allowing the bees to build comb on them.
Of course, I have a piece of comb on my desk that the bees generated without any prompting from us. The beauty, delicacy, and superb engineering never ceases to amaze and surprise me.
On the home front
To help fight our battle against ants and small hive beetles (SHB), we’ve built our own little defensive Green Zone: a cement patio for the hives. SHB larvae can’t burrow into the soil to pupate, and we can easily spot ants crawling and hopefully control them. Tony Soria (Sunset facility supervisor), Dan Strack (building maintenance), and Rick LaFrenze (landscape supervisor and Team Beer member) have been the champions for Team Bee. In two days they moved the hives, poured the cement and moved the hives again.
Tony Soria smooths cement next to Veronica and Betty
Even though we moved the hives less than 6 feet to their new patio, there were some mighty confused bees hovering in two hive shaped clouds precisely where their hives had been. I imagine most of them were foragers who had flown out at dawn, only to return home to find the rest of the girls had packed up and moved away without telling them. Bees, creatures of habit, locate their home hive visually; they don’t expect it to move while they’re out gathering groceries. The poor things flew around all afternoon looking for their missing homes, but fortunately by the next morning, bees were zipping in and out of their hives without a hitch.
We shall see how this patio works. Keep your fingers crossed.