The Bees is an installation of multiple hives beautifully hand-made with copper roofs and corners. Each hides a unique, unexpected interior world. Some use high-spec digital technology – others rely on more traditional means. Audiences wander amongst the honey-perfumed Bee colony, occasionally cloaked in smoke, finding a variety ways of viewing and interacting with the contents. In each there is a surprising conceptual twist, which challenges, charms and confounds expectations – you may find yourself looking into the vastness of space, or teased by a telescopic hive soaring into the air. The installation is tended by ethereal beekeepers and atmospherically lit when performed at night.
The Bees are designed to be multi-sensory, engaging spectators through taste, smell and touch as well as sight and hearing. It presents a clear and resonant image, but with a frisson of danger – the hives are realistic and might just contain stinging insects - do you really want to put your eye up to that hole?
The Bees investigates the complex symbiotic relationship humans have with bees. It is beautiful, humorous and thought provoking. Each hive is designed for only one or two people to see inside at a time with the experience, being reinforced artistically through visiting the whole colony and witnessing the reactions of those who see it before or after you.