Artists Commissions

We would like to welcome the following artists to the Outrider Project –

Ron Haselden

Bee Flight Paths. Time exposure photographs. Postcard Series 4.RonHaseldenBeeFlights


Cath Keay

Riddrie Vogue (2005) Image shows beeswax sculpture being transformed by bees. 25 x 25 x 12 cm.3. Inside a beehive


Jane Tudge



Megan Powell 

“Full” a film collaboration with Carol Mavor, to be completed 2014'Francesca' from 'Full' film


Elisabeth Bond 



Early Career Artist include

Anneka French

Becca Harris 



Bee Music by Charles Butler, 1609 – ‘De Feminine Monarchie’

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‘This is arguably the single most influential or at least important apiculture book ever released in the english language. Butler conclusively overturned the prevailing myth of bee patriarchy by identifying the Queen as female ruler and the drones as male. The theory was more fully elucidated later by Jan Swammerdam.

The background to this music sheet image is quite extraordinary. Butler was attempting to transcribe bee sounds in musical notation. What began as a simple triplicate metre representation of rival queen bee sounds in the first edition was augmented later to become a madrigal (multi-voice unaccompanied by music) for 4 singers with the music appearing in such a way that a soprano and tenor on one side of the page could read the music at the same time as the countertenor and bassus on the opposite side’.  (‘Peacay’)

Footnote – The buzzing sound of a bee is caused by the vibration of its wings. Scientists have calculated that a bee’s wings can beat over 250 times a second.

Mere de tout son Peuple

René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, 1683 – 1757. Réaumur’s observations and reflections on bees became quite popular among natural historians and beekeepers in the mid-eighteenth century.


Réaumur affirmed that under normal conditions there is only one queen in a hive, laying from thirty to fifty thousand eggs every year, and he called her the “Mere de tout son Peuple’. He considered drones to be males, counted from six to seven hundred in a single hive, and related the numbers obtained to different seasonal periods. He also noticed that drones did not work, stating that their only function was to fertilize the queen, and that the great majority of the population were working bees. Like Swammerdam, he believed that the queen laid three different kinds of eggs in the three different kinds of cells and that, in so doing, she was never mistaken.

Honeybees abandoning hives and dying due to insecticide use…

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The above photograph is from the Watkins Collection at Hereford Library.

The mysterious vanishing of honeybees from hives can be directly linked to insectcide use, according to new research from Harvard University. The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear.

“We demonstrated that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering ‘colony collapse disorder’ in honeybee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter,” said Chensheng Lu, an expert on environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health and who led the work.

The loss of honeybees in many countries in the last decade has caused widespread concern because about three-quarters of the world’s food crops require pollination. The decline has been linked to loss of habitat, disease and pesticide use. In December 2013, the European Union banned the use of three neonicotinoids for two years.

Honeybees abandoning hives and dying due to insecticide use, research finds | Environment |