October 01 2016
Last night, Friday, September 30, the US Fish and Wildlife Service added seven species of bees for protection under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. It is time that the inclusion of apiaries—natural or synthetic—for this “keystone species” be considered a basic requirement of any sustainability program.
The Synthetic Apiary explores the possibility of a controlled space in which seasonal honeybees can thrive year-round. Light, humidity, and temperature are engineered to simulate a perpetual spring environment. Bees are provided with synthetic pollen and sugared water, and evaluated regularly for health and wellbeing. In this initial experiment, humans and honeybees co-habitate, enabling natural cultivation in an artificial space across scales, from organism- to building-scale.
Minute 2:33 in the video documents the first birth in a synthetic environment: the only life this bee knows is of an existence in the Synthetic Apiary.