Starting to Capture the Sun

17 Nov 2012
Case study: 
Don Pablo seals the glass sculpture
Don Pablo's bees started their work.

On Wednesday, Ely from Studio Xaquixe came with a pick-up truck and the prepared glass sculptures to see us to Don Pablo, the beekeeper. The pick-up is a 2 seater, and 3 of our delegation of 5 - Patrick and Pacome from nadine and Jonathan the photographer - had to sit on the cargo area, in the back. During the 45 minutes ride, some preparations already happened and Patrick tried to get the solar panel working to feed the ipad. The idea was to use the ipad for a time lapse movie of the bees' work of the next 10 days.
At Don Pablo's house, we inspected the glass sculptures, drilled openings into wooden lids, picked up some suits and veils and went to his apiary. Don Pablo has been a beekeeper for 38 years and has 2 apiaries in the state of Oaxaca. When we explained the idea of putting glass sculptures on top of hives to let the bees build their comb inside it, he wondered how we would manage to place frames inside of the glass. Wildly built comb would not look good, he reckoned. And the impossibility of harvesting the collected honey also felt quite odd to him. But, he agreed to collaborate and he chose 2 good colonies for our experiment. The bees seemed to accept the new medium readily, and moved in.
However, the time lapse idea had to be dropped - the car charger that we found in a little shop in Oaxaca centre had too little of an output and the ipad could not be charged with solar power. The device was depleted within the first few hours after placing the glass.
The intensity of colours in Mexico is startling, and to no surprise it is reflected in the beekeeping outfits as well. Green and orange veils with very colourful hives.
The veils are kept on while driving as well - safety first!
Next visit at the bees is planned for Monday - to check how the building proceeds.

ride to Don Pablo, 2 glass sculptures prepared with beeswax, cutting holes in the lids, overalls, many colours, green veil, green veil, green veil, veiled, rearranging, apiary, masking tape - improvisation, white chocolate, bees in glass, Jonathan, veiled driving, veiled driving