Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 12:30


An insightful exhibition of science and contemporary art promises to throw new light on the fascinating world of bees and other native pollinators. 

The exhibition entitled Plan Bee runs from January 26 to March 17 and focusses on the insects’ extraordinary lives and the threats they face.  A major highlight will be the story of native dark honey bees and the vital role they play. 

Plan Bee brings together a wide range of collaborators from many disciplines connected by their passion to protect pollinators.  

The exhibition is being staged in Eden’s recently refurbished Core education centre and at its heart is work from three leading contemporary artists.

Bees (and the Odd Wasp) in my Bonnet features an extensive range of mixed media work, paintings and sculpture by environmentalist and artist Kurt Jackson.

Reverie is a multi-sensory sculptural installation by artist Wolfgang Buttress. The artwork invites the visitor to sit within an immersive natural environment and listen to the live vibrational sounds of honey bees coming from a beehive at Eden.

Florilegium: Honey Flow 1 Spring by Amy Shelton is a celebrated series of lightbox artworks which have toured venues across the UK and Europe, informing audiences about the plight of pollinators. 

Dr Jo Elworthy, Eden’s Director of Interpretation, said: “Bees and other pollinating insects are in dramatic decline and this is a massive problem. We all need to do more to protect them before it is too late.

“We are delighted to be working with renowned artists and scientists to bring the story of our native dark honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera, and other native pollinators to life. We will do what we can to promote the vital importance of these creatures and help save them.”

Kurt Jackson said:  “Bees are vital to so much of our lives.  They pollinate our food, keep our farms in business and help our gardens, parks and countryside to thrive. 

“They are also beautiful, fascinating and extraordinary. If only we all danced to communicate.”

The three artists will be joined by scientists and organisations working to save the pollinators.

Bees Under the Lens features stunning electron microscopy images of the native dark honey bee from the University of Plymouth and Falmouth University. 

Save the Pollinators highlights a range of organisations which work on pollinator conservation and showcases two collaborative research projects. 

The University of Plymouth and the B4 Project have spearheaded a National Environmental Research Council PhD studentship designed to study the genetics and traits of the native dark honey bee in order to help with its conservation.

The Eden Project, University of Exeter and National Wildflower Centre are collaborating on research of pollinator landscapes which enhance pollinator recovery in both garden and agricultural landscapes.

The Plan Bee exhibition runs from January 26 and will be on show Wednesdays to Sundays until February 18, and then seven days a week until March 17.

Plan Bee was developed in partnership with B4 and support was provided by the Patagonia Environmental Grants Fund of Tides Foundation, Arts Council England and the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust. 

Plan Bee is part of a programme of events, temporary exhibitions, talks and workshops at the Eden Project exploring new collaborations between science and art as part of Eden’s Invisible Worlds programme.

The Invisible Worlds programme’s centrepiece is ∞ Blue (Infinity Blue), a huge, ceramic, ‘breathing’ sculpture that pays homage to cyanobacteria, one of the world’s smallest living beings.

Invisible Worlds is supported by the Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England and the Wolfson Foundation.  

Entry to Plan Bee is included with Eden admission, Pass or Membership. 

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