Art in the Apiary: Sculptures Made by Bees

The honeycomb that seems to bubble forth from antique figurines of people like Queen Elizabeth II transforms them in unexpected ways in this highly unusual collaboration between a human artist and some of nature’s most creative architects. Despite or perhaps because of her serious allergy to bees, artist Aganetha Dyck chooses to work with them to produce eerie and beautiful sculptures.

Traveling to the hives once or twice a week and wearing a bee suit carefully duct-taped to prevent stings, Aganetha places the sculptures into enclosures with the bees and supervises the removal or addition of honeycomb.

“I am interested in inter species communication. I have chosen to sculpt and draw collaboratively with the honeybees for the past 14 years. My research has included the bee’s use of sound, sight, scent, vibration, and dance. I am studying the bee’s use of the earth’s magnetic fields as well as their use of the pheromones (chemicals) they produce to communicate with one another, with other species and possibly with the foliage they pollinate.”

“The bee work can take years to complete due to a short summer bee-keeping season of 7-9 weeks a year. I spend the rest of the year researching, traveling, and preparing work for the next bee-keeping season.”

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