Great Wall of Bees: Intelligence of the Bee Hive

Ladislav Hanka's avatar Ladislav Hanka

THE GREAT WALL OF BEES INTELLIGENCE OF THE HIVE The etchings you see here, encrusted with beeswax, are made in the time-honored way - much as Rembrandt recorded the Dutch landscape on copper plates in the 17th century. However, here the etchings take on a second life, as I have inserted my artwork into a living hive where bees take over and now collaborate in the creative process. The collaboration has been well worth any discomfort suffered. The additions bees make to the etchings are as inevitably elegant as the gently curving veils of honeycomb you find hanging from the domed ceilings within a bee tree. There is an undeniable intelligence at work in a beehive. You learn to respect that and care about these highly evolved creatures, which brings me inescapably around to bees being in trouble – not just here but worldwide. Like my beekeeper colleagues, I lost nearly all my bees this last winter. It's gut-wrenching to face drifts of dead moldering bees, groups of huddled corpses in corners of the hive or conversely an empty hive - like a Flying Dutchman with plenty of honey and nothing inside, dead or alive. The cause of bee die-offs is hardly a mystery. It’s much like the growth in cancer rates. No single factor causes it. The crisis is due to a summation of assaults on the organism, until it’s all too much - the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Bees face a gauntlet of toxins, habitat loss, electromagnetic pollution, exotic diseases and imported parasites. Many of the newly engineered crops now contain highly toxic pesticides directly within their genome. And it all keeps increasing every year. Bees and people will both get healthier when we stop poisoning the environment. Relish the art. And please consider the choices we make every day: how we spend our money; what we eat; how we express our love for one another and all the other creatures as well. All the supposed experts with conflicting advice can seem pretty intimidating, but you do understand love and beauty. Trust that and act on it.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 4 ft
  • Medium: etchings with bees wax and wooden furniture
  • Width: 10 ft
  • Year created: 2014
  • Height: 6 ft