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ÀRBOL DE LAS ABEJAS Bienenbaum BeeTreeHome is an ongoing project about, with and in a main part by bees.

About the ralationship between humans and bees - which is as old as humankind. In the Cuevas de la Araña, Andalucìa (my

birth country), Spain, bees and humans appears for the first time together on a 9000 year old cavepainting.

About the relationship and communiciation, the behaviour and sublime being of bees. About the relationship between art

and bees.

When I learned that nowadays bees were treatened as bad as other animals or plants in mass-farming, I immediatly decided to

have my own bees, caring for them the best way I can do, treatmentfree in a beefriendly environment. Fortunately the possibility

arose, to build a beehome in a living tree with a natural cave in a close friends garden. Together we build the home and take

care of this Family. It impressed me, how different I perceived/felt the bees in their different homes - in the tree or in usual

beeboxes. Months later I learned, that the optimal beehome is a tree - this knowledge is resulting from years of scientific work

by different scientists who measured a lot of data.

Entering in the world of bees and beekeepers, I was wondering about the terminology, which is/was a male dominated language

and a male dominated field of work. (A work which was developed more and more to make it easy for the beekeeper and to

harvest as much as possible honey and other bee produced substances.) Wondering and being pleased when I saw the

cavepainting in the Cuevas de la Araña, where a woman climbs up a rope to harvest honey from a tree.

In Spain and in Serbia the names for bees are a bit different than in german or english - the Queen is called Mother, the Bien is called Family, Familia.

Entering the world of bees for me is entering an endless space, unknown and familiar in the same moment ......



In the last years my correlation to material i use in my work has changed a lot. I am more and more interested in

natural materials (and forms). Materials which are used since the begin of humankind. Minerals, metals, different earths,

wood, resin, beeswax, stones, fur, fethers, bones etc. I collect them and put them together in different ways.

In some way this kind of materials are related with bees (and all other animals and plants).


The characteristics of a home where bees lives in, have a big influence of their health, stresslevel and behaviour: size, volume,

climate, insulation p.e., and the way how beekeepers deal with this animals. This insects always think or behave in the way

which is optimal for the swarm, for the Family. They have attributes together as a family, who resemble more to a mammal than

an insect. The Bien or the Family has approximately the weight of a human brain. The questions what the optimal house for bees

looks like or what the best beekeeping ways are, go hand in hand with the questions of human architecture and ways of working

and living. I think that harvesting the whole honey and replace it with sugar for the bees is one reason why this insects are a

jeopardized species. The anthropocene defines Earth's most recent geologic time period as being human influenced, based on

global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are changed a

lot by humans. In the name anthropocene also lies a possibility, a responsibility, a chance, which every human being can take.

One characteristic of bees is to swarm - to reproduce, or when the house is too small, or to flee from certain diseases.

"Swarming is the bees leaving their hive body and reincarnating into a new body. Out of body and back into body." (Gareth John)

Housing and swarming - since ever a nomadic way of life.


Iris Dostal, September 2018








The bee-faced-mushroom-shaman of Tassili-n-Ajjer

Cuevas de la Araña

Joseph Beuys - Bienenkönigin

(I do not own the copyrights of this three photographs.)