Bee Breeder Melanie Kirby has a window artwork set up as aspect of the Annex Home windows exhibit coordinated by The Paseo Venture. The name of the exhibit is “Hive Head Alchemy: 2ning in2 2morrow’s Foreseeable future.” Kirby reported she felt influenced to make her artwork dependent on bees mainly because “it takes a community to elevate bees, they want bouquets and healthier landscapes. I would like to inspire individuals to assume about how the smallest of fuzzy beasts enable to feed them and their family members. And that in return, probably we can plant additional flowers and trees for them and steer clear of utilizing toxic pesticides and other programs these as fungicides that can poison pollens and nectars and harm all of our varied pollinators. We are all interconnected and we give and just take, like the broadcaster and the receiver, exchanging energy to promote existence and new music for every other.”

Tempo caught up with the occupied artist and bee breeder and questioned about her inspiration for the venture. Here is what she had to say.

You should describe the second when the inspiration for this installation occurred and how it developed?

In 2009 I was in the CAV thrift shop. They had a hollow, blue glass mannequin head as a prop to display jewelry. I imagined how awesome that would be to place within a hive and have the bees make honeycomb inside of. I requested if it was for sale and the clerk at the time reported so many men and women talk to about it, but, no, it was not for sale. However, the notion caught with me and then a yr later on in the tumble, a mate was going to and I took them to the iconic Taos Plaza. We meandered as a result of a few retailers and uncovered a retail outlet named Seconds on the Bent Street outlets. We went inside to glimpse at all the recycled objects. On a really low shelf below the front window, I glimpsed a glass head and when I bent down to see it, I noticed that there have been a number of offered, all created from recycled glass in Spain. I purchased 4 of them at $25 a pop and took them to my bee farm where by I saved them until the pursuing spring when I determined, now’s the time.

I am a landless farmer. This is not by decision. Even however I am born and elevated in these enchanted lands and a registered tribal member of a non-acknowledged tribe in southern New Mexico I do not have accessibility to my ancestral lands. In the long run I would like to nurture a residence of my individual in Northern New Mexico, but until then, I navigate my landless beekeeping attempts as a collaborative training course. I am usually trying to get people, corporations and land stewards who will host my hives. If somebody is intrigued, then I go to check out out the location and we examine exactly where could possibly be a suitable spot to build the apiary (a position where beehives are living, like an aviary but apiary (api signifies bee in Latin). If we discover a acceptable location, then I can prepare the space and carry a number of hives in. I supply honey and other hive goods in exchange.

For this collaborative bee-and-keeper enterprise I selected an apiary I experienced established in Chamisal on the Superior Road to Taos at the dwelling of Juliet and Eduardo García-Gutiérrez. They are phenomenal common farmers [with] acequias. I use a vertical hive design and style that permits me to add and remove packing containers (termed supers) as my bees will need house to grow in inhabitants and to retailer their pollen and honey reserves. So as the nectar move started up on the mountain, I put what they call an excluder which is like a spaced grill that enables the employee bees to pass by way of, but which helps prevent the queen from passing by means of into an upper chamber. In an higher tremendous put above the excluder, I placed two of the glass heads.

In excess of the following month, as the forager employee bees collected nectars, they would enter their hive and carry their nectar load up into the upper chamber. They establish beeswax comb from sweat glands they have on the underside of their abdomens and so when there is a large amount of nectar and the temperature is good and warm, they will sweat out wax and go it from sister to sister in which it is pressed and shaped into a comb, like seamstresses doing the job with each other, to develop a cathedral out of their converted liquid starlight. They create honeycomb inside the heads and on the outside. 1 head employed to have a mohawk of honeycomb, but it was so weighty with honey that it broke off for the duration of one time when I was sharing them on my honey stand at the Taos holiday getaway market place.

It was a several several years later when I was just admiring the heads and all the glory my bees offered in a reverential mood, the inspiration came to me: that the heads of comb would glance neat spinning about so that you could see them from all angles. I set them on a lazy susan and then the notion to area them on turntables manifested. I sat on this idea for just about one more ten years in advance of building it a actuality with this Hive Head Alchemy installation listed here in Taos.

You can check out Kirby’s show via April 2021 at 107 Civic Plaza Push (the aged law enforcement station) across from SOMOS. Adhere to the artist on instagram @ziaqueenbees and @nectarnomad.