Event Details

  • When: Monday, 04 May 2020
  • Timings: 8pm-10pm

    Where: The Foundation Room, Emerson College

    Tickets: £8 General Admission / £6 Concession


    For more information please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TALK: Learning from the Bees

TALK: Learning from the Bees

Join Karmit Even-Zur as she explores the fascinating world of honeybees and creative social projects inspired by them.

A honeybee colony is constantly engaged in ongoing ‘conversation’ and consensus making activity, carried out via pheromone exchange and bee ‘dances’. It is a fine example of a complex adaptive system which generates new structures based on its own internal dynamics, i.e it is a self organising organism. We may erroneously think of a bee colony as hierarchical simply because we imagine the queen bee as a ‘ruling’ entity but in fact she is, to use Maurice Maeterlinck’s words, “...the captive heart of the city, and the center around which its intelligence revolves.” He goes on to call her the “royal servant, the responsible delegate of love, and its captive custodian”*, and indeed she is the reproductive heart of the hive but all decisions emerge from the interactions and information shared by all the bees. 

One of the many precious things honeybees can teach us is to think in systems, making it easier for us to understand the world as interrelated patterns and processes. In this talk, Karmit will be sharing stories about Bee Time art and ecology projects that leverage both the Arts and the systems thinking approach to design regenerative cultures in specific places and communities. In these projects, selected artists explore the local ecology of a place, cultivate a sensitivity towards the land, seek traditional local knowledge and generate dialogue with the local community to support community engaged processes. Wonder and imagination are invited into the public discourse about beekeeping and agricultural practices, and the infinite intimacy in nature is contemplated through active observations. Join us to hear more about these creative placemaking stories. 

* Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee.


Karmit Even Zur Low Res