PUBLIC TALK: I Lay My Ear to Furious Latin: Listening for Bees in Urban Environments
|I Lay My Ear to Furious Latin: Listening for Bees in Urban Environments : Public talk with Tarsh Bates and Susan Hauri-Downing
Where do native bees live in contested urban environments? How has the colonisation and urbanisation of Perth affected native bee populations? What is the nature of the human/bee interactions and what cultural roles do they play? In the context of a global honey bee crisis, Australian colonisation, and disappearing habitats, a current art/science residency is investigating the nature of bee populations in urban areas. Whilst there is much publicity surrounding the global disappearance of the European honey bee, little attention has been paid to native bee populations and habitats.
Native and European bees are particularly important in pollinating local flora and contribute to the unique biodiversity of the South West region. They also hold unique significance for the Nyungar community. Despite the importance of native bees, little is known about the ecological and cultural consequences of Perth colonisation and urbanisation on these insects. The relationships between bees, humans and the colonisation and urbanisation of Perth are complex. Although there are over 2,000 described native bee species in Australia, 800 of which occur in WA, most are solitary and rarely seen. Nests and habitats are destroyed through landscaping, gardening and land clearing activities. There is also concern over the displacement of native bees by feral European bees.
This talk describes a project involving artists Susan Hauri-Downing and Tarsh Bates, and the Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) at UWA which combines the different perspectives of art and science to explore human/bee interactions, ecologies and place. We will also discuss the roles of artists within science research groups and show some preliminary outcomes of the residency.
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