Bees and Art: A Senior Honors Thesis

This past fall of 2016 I had a University of Iowa student working part-time with the bees two or three afternoons per week. She had the interesting double major of sculpture and environmental studies. It turned out that her beekeeping foray helped combine her academic interests and inspired a senior honors thesis in art/studio, which she titled “Dear Bees, I love you.” The project turned into an interesting blend of carpentry and photography, and the studio exhibit included background sounds that she recorded of bees going about their hive business. Overall I thought it was an astute sensory approach in terms of creative process and public presentation. I unfortunately did not take a photo of the actual exhibit night since I was herding my son and his trail of hors d’oeuvres, but here are a couple of publicly posted images.

Here is the picture that provided the main graphic for the exhibit opening:

And here are a few of the photos depicting notes to the bees, which she placed in some fall hives for their insect contributions (i.e. chewing, wax construction, and propolis deposits.) They were displayed on a nicely aged log at the exhibit and presented photographically on the wall. This note endeavor probably worked much better in fall than it would have in spring or summer–earlier in the year they probably would have chewed the notes into tiny bits and kicked them out of the hive. Seasonal art I guess! My favorite is “Thank you for all of the butt-shaking dances!” :chuckle:

I think it must have gone well–I overheard another student tell her that it was the classiest exhibit he’d ever seen. Having a toddler running around the premises no doubt put it over the top!

Link here for the text description of the honors thesis.