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We Dance to Communicate


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This design refers to a dance bees use to communicate directions to the a potential source of pollen and nectar, known as the Waggle Dance. I was lucky to be an amateur beekeeper for a couple years, and I learned a lot about bees. Honeybees and other pollinators coevolved with flowering plants, making themselves essential for our ecosystem. Honeybees in particular tend to focus on a specific type of plant (for example, apple blossoms) until it is done for the season, making them more efficient pollinators than insects that hop between different types of pollen. This is also why beekeepers can produce specific varieties of honey.

In organic farming, honeybees hives can exist on the farm year round. Farms using pesticides must truck in honeybees to pollinate certain crops. The beekeepers close the hives and put hundreds of hives in trucks, sometimes hundreds of miles, and set the bees up at their new homes during the night. Certain pesticides have been linked to bee deaths, but in my opinion it is also this practice of trucking bees around that creates disorientation in the colony. To create a more hospitable environment for bees, consider learning more about the bee trucking industry and purchasing organic fruit and nuts.

These hand-pulled screenprints were created from a hand-cut paper design (below).


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