The series evokes the nature of golden bees as vibrant, joyful, full of life and nurturing creatures; gold also represents sunlight and the golden thread that bees weave from flower to flower. Pinks and greens resonate with the heart chakra and represent a call for compassion, for while bees are depicted in this series in the vibrant colors of life they are also depicted in the monochrome of death: sculpted white bee spirits accompany the works along with black forms representing the dark toxic seeds of industrial farming.
The Honey Bee Crisis And Why It Matters
Long before humans appeared, the honeybee was nurturing life and fertility here on this planet. In existence for at least 100 million years, the bee is now facing extinction, which would have devastating consequences. Bees’ contribution to pollination makes them critical for a healthy sustainable life for hundreds of species, including humans. Bees pollinate more than 100 different agricultural crops in the United States; quite simply, the loss of earth’s primary pollinator of plants and trees would result in an unprecedented disaster. Why? Because every third spoonful of food we put in our mouth is made possible by honeybees.
Bees are subject to numerous pressures in the modern world and their decline is driven by a combination of factors including a reduction in the diversity of flowers, exposure to cocktails of agrochemicals and to novel parasites. Most serious of all is Colony Collapse Disorder, a result of the monetization of bees within monoculture industrial farming and pesticides used in urban and suburban green spaces.
“Colony Collapse Disorder is a bill we are given for all we have done to the bees” – Gunther Hauk, Biodynamic Farmer
In 1923, Rudolf Steiner, the scientist, philosopher & social innovator, predicted that in 80 to 100 years we would see the consequences of mechanizing natural forces that had previously operated organically. In 2006, just 83 years after his prediction, a decades-long trend of honeybee losses suddenly became so profound that the term Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) was coined. Over the following six years more than ten million hives were lost worldwide.
And no wonder.
The joyous energy that characterizes the natural honey bee life cycle has been completely nullified by mechanized beekeeping practices developed to support modern monoculture farming. For example, the colony’s diet of honey is removed and replaced with sugar water; hive life is disrupted when they are transported for days in trucks, from location to location, often coast to coast; when bees leave the hive they are faced with genetically modified crops and the absence of nutritious forage due to loss of biodiversity caused by monoculture farming; and their venerable, dynamic queens are denied their mating dance and artificially inseminated to maximize productivity. Perhaps most devastating of all is the effect of insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers and other active materials applied widely to the environment in both croplands and residential green spaces. Bees are devastated by their use, especially the neonicotinoid pesticides applied to 95 percent of corn and canola crops, and many other crops including a vast majority of fruit and vegetables.
We can alter the destructive path we have laid for bees, and ourselves, but the time to act is now.
* We can choose locally grown organic food over industrially farmed conventional food products; lets us take back our power as stewards of the environment and of our own health.
* We can become responsible small-scale beekeepers.
* We can make our yards sanctuaries for bees and other pollinators by selecting plants and flowers that nourish pollinators and use only natural, non-chemical methods of pest control.
One individual bee cannot affect the environment, but working collectively with its hive it can feed the world. In the same way each positive act we as individuals contribute to the whole does make a difference.