Friday, 30 December 2011

Spirit of the Beehive on BBC Radio 4 'Pick of the Year' 31st Dec 2011

Horray! Spirit of the Beehive is to be featured on BBC Radio 4's Pick of the Year. They've asked me for a little more of the music I composed for the feature for use within the programme, so listen out for the dulcet tones of Oli Langford on violin and the sound of bees buzzing..

here's the link:

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Spirit of the beehive - listen again and again.. and again...

Those nice people at BBC radio 4 are keeping the 'spirit of the beehive' fires burning - it's still available to listen again for the time being, here's the link:

and here's the article I wrote for BBC Radio 4 blog:

and I've put some of the reviews for the feature on my website:

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch about the programme..

look after those bees...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

BBC Radio 4 Spirit of the Beehive added extras

BEE INSPIRED! All this week I'm sharing some of the amazing findings that Phil, Alva and I gathered during the making of the feature: Art, music books science and ideas.

Available on my website blog:

which is linked to this blog.

and on twitter.

Why not add your own and we can create a swarm.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Music and Mix

After an intense period of editing and composing I recorded the violin part with the marvellous Oli Langford and then a hop skip and a jump over for the final mix with the magnificent Peregrine Andrews


Spirit of the Beehive is to be broadcast 11am Friday 2nd Sept 2011, BBC Radio 4.

There was no way to squeeze into the programme all I've learnt about bees and my great enthusiams for our amazing buzzing friends, but I hope it wets the appetite and encourages those who listen to think feel and explore the wonderful life of the honeybee.

Recording Jan Olsson at La Ruche in Paris

Quick trip to Paris on the eurostar to record artist Jan Olsson in the artist community La Ruche (the beehive).  La Ruche was founded by Alfred Boucher a philanthropic sculputure who created what is today a very beautiful space for artists to live and work - and yes it looks like a beehive, and as Boucher intended full of productive artists creating art like honey!

The Golden company Installing Hives at Nomura Investment bank

Further recording with the The Golden Company, learning about Beekeeping in Hackney - followed them to Nomura Investment Bank in the city - where they installed hives on the roof - and how do you get hives ontop of an investment bank?  - why take them up in a window cleaners cradle.. quite a sight! Great views of the Thames from up there!

Friday, 15 July 2011

LASI - Professor Ratnieks

On Friday I returned to Sussex University to interview Professor Ratnieks at LASI. Whilst there I recorded the bees at the entrance of the observation hive.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Natural Beekeeping Trust

 Yesterday Phil and I visited Heidi Herrmann of the Natural Beekeeping Trust in a beautiful part of the Sussex countryside. I recorded an interview with Heidi and she showed us around the gardens and the many beautifully painted hives she keeps there.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Golden Company at Borough Market

On Saturday Alva and I dodged the rain and joined the throng at Borough Market, we were there to meet some of the young people who are part of the golden company . The Golden company is a social enterprise working with inner city young people producing honey and related projects. I interviewed some of the young beekeepers whilst at Borough and am looking forward to going to see them in action working with the bees in East London.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Waggle dance decoding

On friday I went with Peregrine Andrews (of moving air) to a waggle dance decoding workshop at Sussex University. We had planned to record the sounds of a hive too, but rain stopped play. The waggle dance workshop was fascinating - those clever bees.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Bee the buzz

Yesterday I recorded at the Linklater Pavilion at the Railway land local Nature Reserve in Lewes. There I attended a talk by Professor Ratnieks who was introducing the new observatory hive they have installed. The new Pavillion is suitably hexagonal, and housed bee activities such as looking at bees and flowers, waggle dance watching and honey tasting. I'm proud to say I picked out the honey produced by the bees at LASI (Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects at Sussex University) over the supermarket honey.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Bee pics

We are taking photos as we progress through the project - although we are focussing on honeybees - every bee deserves our attention and admiration, apparently there are 20,000 different species of bees! Here are some photos of bees Phil has taken this week

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Starting out with bees

I am not, as yet, a beekeeper, but I hope to be. I've been fascinated by bees for sometime. Back in March I signed up for a beekeeping course in Regents Park in London. And so started my bee education - there's a lot to learn about beekeeping in itself let alone all the areas we're pursuing with this feature.. music art science.. etc. But I came away from the course feeling enthused: The heady smell of the honey, wax and smoke; the bees landing on me with their back legs coated with red and yellow pollen; holding a frame heavy with bees and spotting the queen; the comb sculptures oozing from the hives looking like something Gaudi might have been inspired by. Then there was the sound - the polyphonic buzzing....

looking forward to pressing record..

But before I do that we are foraging, gathering everything and anything, researching people, places ideas, art science, poetry and music...

About 'spirit of the beehive'

'Spirit of the Beehive' is a composed feature produced by me (Nina Perry) On this project I am being assisted by Alva White and Phil Hogg. 'Spirit of the Beehive' is a Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4. 

'The life of bees is like a magic well' said Karl von Frisch who discovered the famous waggle dance of the honeybee in the 1930's. In this composed feature the spirit of the beehive is explored through the experiences of musicians, poets, writers, scientists and beekeepers, all of whom look to the bee as a muse. Giving unique insight into the mysterious and increasingly endangered life of bees; our relationship with them and possible solutions to how we can help save the bee, a vital part of our food chain.