Thursday Pics: Bee Edition

Mason bees emerging Mason bees emerging Mason bees emerging
Mason bees emerging Mason bees emerging Mason bees emerging

A few weeks ago I was working from home and went out to work on the back garden over my lunch. I managed to catch the mason bees emerging from their nests. Mason bees are a native pollinator that lays a single egg in a hole and then blocks it up with clay mud to protect the larvae as it matures. They will happily use a bee house like mine that’s just holes drilled into a block of wood. These bees generally emerge around the same time so I got a bunch of pictures of different bees chewing their way out. You can see the jaws of the bee in the lower left picture working on the hole. If you stood quietly next to the house, you could hear all kinds of chewing as they worked their way out.

These bees are great pollinators and the best sort to have for blueberries. They also won’t sting and don’t do any hole construction like carpenter bees do. They are also unfairly fuzzy and adorable.

Click through to Flickr to see 70+ images of the bees emerging.

Thursday Pics

The Honeycomb Vase, a vase created by bees so it's covered in hexagonal cells of wax

The Honeycomb Vase museum information card with the same info below

Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny (Slovak, born 1979)
The Honeycomb Vase “Made by Bees”


Manufacturer: Studio Libertiny
Date: 2006
Medium: Beeswax
Dimensions: 9 x 5 1/2 x 5 1/2″ (22.9 x 14 x 14 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of The Aaron and Betty Lee Stern Foundation
MoMA Number: 444.2008

Several objects in the case to the left were fabricated through rapid manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. By contrast, The Honeycomb Vase was produced through what the artist has called “slow manufacturing”—Libertíny constructed a vase-shaped beehive scaffold (to be removed at the end of the process) and then let nature take its course. Forty thousand bees built the vase, cell by cell, in one week.

One of my favorite pieces from our visit to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.