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Deborah Kennedy, "The Dance of the Bees", 2001
Deborah Kennedy, "The Dance of the Bees", overall shot of installation, 2001

Deborah Kennedy, \   Deborah Kennedy, "The Dance of the Bees", detail of the Altar, 2001
Deborah Kennedy, "The Dance of the Bees", 2001   Deborah Kennedy, "The Dance of the Bees", detail of Honey, 2001
Deborah Kennedy, "The Dance of the Bees", 2001   Deborah Kennedy, "The Dance of the Bees", 2001
Deborah Kennedy

The Dance of the Bees

Wood, metal, honey, clay, light, roses, honey sticks, paint, wire

JFK University Gallery, Berkeley, CA

The Dance of the Bees presented an altar with words and images related to the decline of pollinator species. Today, honeybees and many species of native bees are dying throughout the world and in America. Since 1947, almost half of our honeybee colonies have been lost. This loss is primarily caused by the indiscriminate use of agricultural chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides, as well as, habitat fragmentation and degradation. This widespread decline of pollinator species threatens not only our food supply and other crops, but also plants found in natural environments.

The installation created a place to help us understand how closely we are connected with the web of life. At the altar, participants could read a book describing our history with bees, information related to the bee decline along with illustrations of various bee species, and excerpts of poems about bees. Honey sticks offered participants the chance to taste the gift of bees directly. The centerpiece of the installation was a glowing bottle of honey, the healing gift of the bees.

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