B-Code is a living, biological 3D printer that employs honeybees to create sculptural forms in beeswax. Honeybees developed the world’s first additive manufacturing over millennia of evolution, and Berry harnesses their technology to create hive systems that enhance the natural tendencies of bees. Together they produce sculptural forms never before possible by human technology or nature alone.
B_code in laboratory. Experiment was concluded after three months of hive activity in this artificial environment. Bees were able to build substantial food reserves, and population continued to increase after queen mated and swarm began building comb.
For more on the methods and how-to for building this project, click here.
Handheld video of artificial hive with bees inside, month 3.
One of four cameras deployed throughout experiment to document the building of comb, daily fluctuations in the hive population, and other activity.
This is Version 3. For more details on the project and instructions on how to build your own, click here.
This piece is the beginning of the dialogue, the ice-breaker. This young teen and her father told me the story of how she was able to overcome her fear of bees after being stung when she was 4 years old. They checked out all the books from the library about insects, and eventually she fell in love with them.
B-Code was designed with the following criteria:
optimal housing for bees to regulate temperature and humidity for brood health
optimal ability to document comb building
storage and shipping: faces either flat pack or nesting
replaceable, reconfigurable assembly for adaptation
The ability to observe bees in a hive with minimal disturbance has allowed me to keep bees in a way that is most conducive to our mutual relationship. This allows me to push the boundaries of bee behaviour and have greater access, with fewer casualties on both sides. Hosted at Bloomfield Farm in Petaluma and Berry's home apiary in Sausalito, CA.
Berry has written a series of tutorials on basic beekeeping.
Photo by Caley Morrison
Workshop for Headlands, where we returned bees to the heart of the gymnasium on campus in a ceremony to honor HCA founder and bee-inspired artist Mark Thompson.
B-Code, Live at the LAST Festival in San Jose, Summer 2017.
Visitors could look into the hive and watch bee at work, 3D prinint their collaborative sculptures over the top of the scaffoling I provided for them.