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.