Save the Bees
by Jeazzelle Baham
Colored pencil and pen on paper
9″ x 14“
There has been an almost 90% decline in bee colonies in my lifetime. My piece “Save the Bees,” has a layered composition that depicts a beehive, (more specifically a flow hive), a dead bee being eaten by ants and a spilled jar of honey against a blue sky. I was interested in showing the various aspects of honey bee life, mainly because they are endangered and it seems like if the bees go, we go!
I focused mainly on the flow hive because it is an innovative, safer, and green improvement to the modern bee hive. By using this system, bee smoking is not required and harvesting honey is safer. Often, bee keepers will use smoke to harvest honey, but over smoking bees results in the death of all of them. A flow hive harvests the honey automatically, which prevents those deaths. This issue is not as easy as it seems however, because many of these hives are made from plastics that force the bees to live with the hormone disruptions from the pollutants in the plastic. This makes me wonder if we should be taking honey from them at all.
In the foreground are ants eating a dead bee next to a spilled jar of honey. These elements symbolize the rapidly increasing deaths of bees, in part, to obtain honey. I focused also on the beauty of the neat stack of glass jars filled with honey in contrast to the spilled jar. I needed to represent how humans take this amazing resource for granted and are wasteful with the amazing things the Earth provides for us.