“A Better Nectar” stems from the artist’s experience living for days next to a slumbering bee swarm, along with eight years of conversations with composer and beekeeper Robert Hoehn and visiting Dr. Anne Leonard’s Bee Lab. Dr. Leonard’s research on bumblebees, bee vision, and buzz pollination in turn became the focus of “A Better Nectar.” Taken at Dr. Leonard’s lab in November 2014, these photographs capture her work.
The “Research Station” gallery of “A Better Nectar” feature the Leonard Bee Lab Photo Essay, as well as the 200-pound plug mold used to produce “Resonant Nest.” This eleven-part basswood internal plug mold was created from a drawing of an individual bumblebee nest cell. Sonic sculptor Ian Schneller (Specimen Products) designed the mold from the artist’s drawings, using 19th century mold-making technology to create an acoustically resonant speaker design. “Research Station” also features images from digitally tethered microscopes focused on native flower specimens, as in the detail of Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) below. Specimens are culled from plantings on site provided by the Theodore Payne Foundation and the artist.