Resonating Bodies’ projects illuminate aspects of biodiversity through focusing on pollination ecology, with special attention paid to the intersection of native bees, habitat and coevolution of plants and pollinators of Canada and beyond. Art installations and other activities reveal aspects of local biodiversity through investigating solitary bee and wasp nesting and life cycles, bumblebee colonies and their foraging activities, ultraviolet bee vision, pollinator/plant coevolution, and colour-coded DNA barcodes (a novel technique for species identification pioneered by Canadian researchers).
Resonating Bodies focuses on bees which are native to North America, and therefor does not include honey bees (genus Apis). We recommend you first check out the Bee Biodiversity page to get familiar with our native bees, many of which are solitary and don’t make honey or wax and don’t usually sting (much). Contents – listed at right – include 4 basic sections: Bee Biodiversity, The Art (including Bee Trading Cards), Community (including comments and discussion), and Resources. Handy tabs for the basic sections are at the top of the blog.
Scroll down this page to view featured activities. Credits are at the bottom. Late-breaking news and more is also posted on Resonating Bodies | Facebook.
Amplified habitat installations for solitary bees and wasps
Sonic Solitaries cabinet at High Park Nature Centre, Toronto
Pairing magnified views in tandem with amplified sound, cabinets facilitate an enhanced perception of their tiny inhabitants: solitary bees and wasps, and other nest biota in action, up close.
Dwelling (Paint Branch Creek) 2015
A Habitat Wall for solitary bees and wasps, at The University of Maryland Arboretum Outreach Center (Peebles and Kuder with Raduazo).
Lisa Kuder talks about the wild bees which live in Dwelling’s habitat wall and cabinet.
Videos of the Audio Bee Booth Pollination Wunder Station at the Tree Museum (above) and its prototype (below) are best viewed with headphones.
Created as part of the Bumble Domicile exhibit and sold through Pollinator Partnership.
Video poems by Stephen Humphrey and Sarah Peebles
Wild, solitary-dwelling bees create nests, manipulate pollen and hang out in the Audio Bee Booth and other amplified habitat structures. Macro video with micro audio!
A grass roots initiative for Toronto and beyond
Create your own safe “bee condo” or habitat sculpture for wild solitary bees. Then, post it to our web gallery on Flickr via email – it’s easy.
Audio Bee Nesting Plank and Deluxe Log (2010)
Window Mini-Gallery (2009)
Bumble Domicile exhibit (2008)
Bumble Domicile exhibit (2008) highlighted distinct features of bumble bees through an observation hive, garden, visual and audio transformations, scent, touch, and biological information. This art installation – community outreach project featured works by Sarah Peebles, Rob King, Anne Barros and Robert Cruickshank, and was created in collaboration with bee biologists and other researchers in Canada and the USA. The video “Apiograph” below describes one of the works in the exhibit: “Apiograph” – an installation visualizing the pollinating activities of the gallery’s observation bumble bee colony . The images generated in “Apiograph” were projected on the gallery wall alongside other elements of the show.
Resonating Bodies projects and site are directed by Sarah Peebles. Artists, technicians and designers 2008-2015 have included Sarah Peebles, Robert Cruickshank, John Kuisma, Jennifer Rong, Mary-Ann Alberga, Julie Kee, Chris Bennett, Lisa Kuder, Henry Raduazo, Stephen Humphrey, Athena Steen, Thomas Young, Kim Thompson, Rob King, Anne Barros, Kevin Steele, Anneli West, Mike Cameron, Kat Cruickshank, Evan Oxland and Akira Inman, Leigh Bamford, Patrick Ellard, Veronica Ladico and Amro Zayed.
Resonating Bodies projects have developed in consulation and/or collaboration with biologists Laurence Packer and Packer lab researchers Scott Thomson, Cory Sheffield, Lincoln Best and Claudia Ratti (York University); James Thomson and Thomson lab researchers Jessamyn Manson and Michael Otterstatter (University of Toronto); Peter Hallett (University of Toronto and ROM); Peter Kevan (University of Guelph; CANPOLIN); and Stephen Buchmann (University of AZ -Tucson, Drylands Institute): Lisa Kuder (University of Maryland) and Sam Droege (USGS).
Resonating Bodies projects have been generously supported by CANPOLIN, TD Friends of the Environment, University of Maryland Arboretum Outreach Center, USM Foundation/Professor Mike Raupp and Dennis vanEngelsdorp Honeybee Bee Lab at UMD; Balls Falls Centre for Conservation, The Canada Council for the Arts & the Ontario Arts Council through the Tree Museum and Cambridge Sculpture Garden, Access Alliance Multicultural Health Centre, InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, New Adventures in Sound Art, High Park Nature Centre, Franklin Children’s Garden and Dufferin Grove Park through the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation, The Canelo Project, The Deanery and Drylands Institute.
Additional assistance provided by Royal Botanical Gardens, Pollinator Partnership, P2 Canada, The Barcode of Life Data Systems, The Toronto Zoo, The Stop, smART Learning Lab, Spadina Musuem, Patrick Ellard at Maggie’s Farm, York Quay Gallery through “Too Cool for School Art and Science Fair”, The Pollinator Garden Project, ASCAP Grants to Composers, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Waterfront Montessori Children’s Centre, Native Buzz (University of Florida), Rob Cruickshank, and Stephen Humphrey.