‘Swarm Trap’ was an exhibition of conceptual and functional architectural objects made for one of the planet’s more important species – bees.
Swarm traps are safe houses for bees – small man-made structures designed to give bees refuge when they swarm seasonally, looking for a new home.
Swarming is the natural reproductive process of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) super-organism. The goal of a swarm of bees is to establish a new colony in a new home. The queen bee leaves the hive with about half of the worker bees, her daughters, swarming around her. Meanwhile, in the hive they left behind, a newly hatched queen is born and the cycle of life continues.
The goal of a swarm trap is to catch swarms before the bees set up shop in an inappropriate place and the pest exterminator is called in. Catching a swarm encourages sustainable, backyard beekeeping – and the more bees under loving management in backyards the better these precious pollinators will be positioned to handle the looming threat of the varroa mite (Varroa destructor) and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Australia is currently varroa- and CCD-free. Here, we are experiencing a golden age of beekeeping.
The 12 objects exhibited are tributes to this good fortune, to honey bees and to sustainable, small-scale beekeeping. At the close of this exhibition the traps were installed out in the bush city and suburbs as working traps with ongoing documentation underway.
Swarm Trap was curated by Honey Fingers and MANY MANY and presented by Hotel Hotel.
The Nishi Gallery is a cultural space in Canberra, Australia. It explores human experience through the lens of local identity, objects and their meaning; the natural and built world; design experimentation and artisanal making. Our exhibitions program supports the subversive, the radical and the vernacular. Nishi Gallery is curated by Molonglo and made in collaboration with local, national and international artists and designers, creative and social enterprises, cultural organisations and independent curators via a submissions and commissions process.
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