Skip to main content

Das Leben Der Anderen
Allied Vision Technologies Prosilica GT6600 with a Schneider Kreuznach Macro Apo-Componon 4.5/90 lens

Tim Gernat

Gene Robinson Laboratory

Funded by the NSF, the NIH, the Christopher Foundation, and the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative

Honey bees are the most important pollinator on the planet, but bee health is seriously threatened by many interacting factors. Current bee health research seeks to clarify how social interactions among honey bees enable their colony to respond to disease, which may lead to better colony management practices and increased food security.

Each Polaroid in this piece shows a group of interacting honey bees wearing miniature barcodes. These images were cropped from a much larger photo of an entire bee colony that was continuously monitored to increase our knowledge of bee social networks. The aesthetics of this piece reference Hanne Darboven, an artist whose work helped the viewer see time through hand-drawn calendars and numbers. As humans we feel an aversion to swarming behavior, but by looking closely and highlighting their interactions, we begin to see the lives of bees as individuals and communities.