What's It Like to Be a Bee? This Exhibit Will Help You Find Out

LA Weekly    By Katherine Gammon   March 30, 2015


 In Resonant Nest, three clusters of cells are presented at human-scale. The artist collaborated with composer Robert Hoehn to create a musical interpretation of a bumblebee colony and foraging behavior. Brian Forrest, courtesy of University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach


In the dimly lit room, translucent nest sculptures dot the ground and a soaring chorus of voices swellsThis isn’t a fever dream — it’s an art installation that puts the viewer in the perspective of a bee, sensing the world in a way that is unfamiliar to most humans.

The project, "A Better Nectar," runs at the California State University Long Beach art museum through April 12. Its creator, artist Jessica Rath, recalls hearing a low hum one day outside her house a few years back. It turned out to be a jumble of bumble bees doing what’s known as a cold huddle, where the bees rub against each other to stay warm.

Rath was initially interested in creating sculptures of hexagonal-shaped hives, but when she heard a radio interview with scientist Anne Leonard of the University of Nevada at Reno, she got a new idea. Leonard studies bee vision and resonance, and when Rath contacted her, the scientist...

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