Butterfly Painting Bee Hives for The Eden Project

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Laure Bury with the painted Butterfly Bee Hive

Butterfly Painting Bee Hives for The Eden Project

Laure Bury, a Devon based artist, has been commissioned to paint a beehive which will be donated to Eden in Cornwall as part of a Pollination project. Five artists, including Laure, were contacted by local dentist Andrew Brown of Tavistock and given a bee hive each to add their own design and style of painting. These brightly coloured and decorated bee hives will thus be more noticeable, and draw the public’s attention to the life and plight of Cornish black bees.

The B4 Project ( “Bringing Back Black Bees” Project ) was a logical progression from Andrew Brown’s local, organic , sustainable farming enterprise and beekeeping interest at his Farm. He was surprised to discover that at least 10,000 queen bees were being imported yearly from all over the world, carrying their pathogens and viruses with them, whilst there are local bees which are suited to Cornwall’s wet and windy environment.

When he looked more closely at local bees, he found that some were darker and resembled the native black bee that Brother Adam of Buckfast Abbey, had postulated, in 1916, were made extinct by the Isle of Wight disease. A DNA analysis of our bees was run and the results showed that they are distinct and different to other black bees that have been examined in the UK, although with black bee characteristics.
The overall picture is what was to be expected – most of the B4 bees have a similar genetic background to the Black Bee reference collection from Northumbria and Colonsay BUT they are also distinct from those bees, arguably as distinct as the other sub-species are from each other.

The conclusion was to put this knowledge into the public arena by arranging for The Eden Project, Paignton Zoo, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Paradise Park, in Hayle, to display and interpret this scientific data, by setting up display hives, and bee keeping demonstrations.

Laure who lives near Tavistock said “I felt very fortunate to be invited to take part in this project. I have always loved the Eden Project and was so excited when they invited butterflies into the Rain Forest Biome. So many people desire to help the environment but don’t really understand the importance of pollination. This new idea will help to teach young and old about the life cycle of Butterflies and bees”.

Laure is known for her landscapes, seascapes and vibrant colour compositions with butterflies. Her paintings are found in public and private collections across the UK, Europe and the Americas. She exhibits regularly at the prestigious Canvas gallery in Wimbledon, Imagination gallery in St Ives and for Art For Youth at the Royal College of Art in London.

As well as her current practice, Laure is also involved in a variety of creative and cultural projects that continue to inspire her work. These include working at museums and schools exhibiting her work, working in theatre, facilitating workshops and bringing Art to new audiences through accessible and innovative approaches. A percentage of her sales goes towards her voluntary work with under privileged children in UK and abroad.