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10° & RAINY ON THURSDAY 27 JUNE IN SYDNEY
By Jasmine Crittenden
October 07, 2014
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This Park Bench Encourages Humans to Befriend Bees. Really.

Because bees need friends too.

By Jasmine Crittenden
October 07, 2014
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Now, more than ever, bees need friends too. Like Frankenstein’s monster, they might seem scary and potentially aggressive from the outside. But the truth is, wild bees are more concerned with keeping out of your way than with launching a mega sting attack. Plus, as you probably know by now, bee populations are on the down and down, which for us may well lead to diminished food supplies.

So, Netherlands-based artist AnneMarie van Splunter has conjured up a public sculpture that’s all about helping humans and bees to get to know one another better. Dubbed the Buzzbench, the gorgeous artwork is a park bench, but not of your usual rectangular variety. Made of cane and bamboo stalks, placed between curved boards, it takes the shape of an enormous flower.

For humans, the Buzzbench provides a dreamy place to sit, which looks like something straight out of Alice in Wonderland. For bees, it offers teeny-tiny, cosy crevices, where they can rest while taking a break from their busy pollinating activities. "Wild bees spend a large part of their lifespan looking for a suitable place to lay their eggs — providing a nesting opportunity really helps them," van Splunter explained to Co.EXIST. "We tend to keep our distance from bees because we are afraid to get stung. But actually, the chances you get attacked by wild bees are nil."

The sculptor hopes to install the Buzzbench in a park in Amsterdam and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help raise funds and build awareness. Van Splunter says that once it’s in place, she’ll be able to maintain it for at least a decade, by replacing the cane and bamboo whenever necessary. "It's important to maintain it to make it work," she says. "I would like it to be a place that many people feel involved with, for example as an educational tool, or as a place of research for experts, or just as a place for park visitors to rest."

Via Fast Company.

Published on October 07, 2014 by Jasmine Crittenden

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