What to do with dead bees?

The BeeHolder, Winter 2013

A Canadian visual artist called Sarah Hatton has taken thousands of dead honeybees and arranged them onto canvasses inBees in a sunflower shape mathematical patterns such as the Fibonacci spiral found in sunflowers. Hatton – who is also a beekeeper – decided to use bees in her work to spread awareness of bee colony collapse disorder to a broad audience in a conceptual way.

"Life often finds its way into one's art, and I had long been thinking of an artistic way to talk about the global decline of bees. I decided to use dead bees as the most direct visual way to represent this message, with the most emotional impact," she told Wired.co.uk.

One of the pieces, Florid, followed the Fibonacci spiral seen in the seed pattern of a sunflower. Two other pieces – Circle 1 and Circle 2 – use ancient patterns that have recently surfaced in crop circles. "Both of these patterns have symbolic ties to agriculture, particularly the monoculture crop system that is having such a detrimental effect on bees," she explained. "In particular, neonicotinoid pesticides, which are used in many countries on these type of crops, destroy bees' navigational systems."

Hatton says that when viewed in person, the works "produce a vertigo effect" which she likens to the bees' loss of ability to navigate when exposed to the pesticides.

The dead bees came from her own hives – she lost an entire colony due to natural causes in the spring. She glued them to wooden panels, coating them with epoxy resin to preserve them.

You can follow Hatton's work on her web page.

The original article is here.

Michelle Boudin, from an article on Wired.co.uk

Please make sure that your dead bees do not constitute a risk to other bees by transmitting disease after you have turned them into a sculpture or other work of art. Ed.