Honey Bees and Art in the Heart of the Bronx


Image credit: Wave Hill

When I wrote about a farmer who kissed pigs the other day, I noted that the stories we tell ourselves matter. Culture is stories. And the narrative that we weave around the numerous environmental crises we face will be crucial in navigating a path through them. Given their crucial role in pollination, there are few more important characters in those stories than honey bees. A new exhibit explores the relationship between humans and honey bees and, fittingly enough, it does so in beautiful 28 acre gardens in the heart of The Bronx. Given recent concerns over whether urban honey bees might run out of food, it seems only fitting that the Hive Culture exhibition is taking place at Wave Hill—a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Starting on September 13th, the exhibit will use painting, prints, sculpture, photography and video to explore our interconnectedness with our furry, flying allies:

Deborah Davidovits' animated shadow play follows the seasons from the vantage point of the bee colony, while beekeeper Rob Keller's custom-designed wallpaper and photographs, taken over several years, show the progression of Bee Dollhouse, his formerly active hive. Andrea Lilienthal draws on a childhood memory of her family mistakenly disturbing a feral beehive to create Swarm, an installation using pussy willow buds. Judi Harvest's extensive research and immersion in the study of bees informs her creation of sculptural hives and amber, blown-glass bees, while Cara Enteles' large organic garden influences the paintings from her Pollinator Series, exploring Colony Collapse Disorder...

Crucially, this is not about art for arts sake. Wave Hill is also home to an established beekeeping program, and will be holding two weekends—Honey Weekend on October 1 and 2, and Hive Culture Weekend on November 5 and 67mdash;which will feature workshops, demonstrations and cookery classes on all aspects of honey, honey bees, and beekeeping.

More on Protecting Honey Bees and Urban Beekeeping
Combined Wind and Solar Power Plant Nurtures Bees Too
The Joys of Legalized Beekeeping in New York (Video)
London's Bees Are in Trouble. Can the Olympics Save Them? (Video)
Big City Bees Are Healthier and More Productive
The Cooperative Group's Plan Bee Promotes Bee keeping and bee-Friendly Gardening (Video)

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