This bee turned up in the shed on weekend wrapped in a dried wet-wipe on which had been written an illegible note – perhaps while it was still wet. It was from the kids who have play sessions at Phytology. One child found a dead bee and thought it should belong in this collection.
Bees are great for so many reasons, along with flies, they are the oil that keeps our ecosystem running. Without them pollinating plants, our food system would grind to a halt, and our species would die off pretty quickly. They also make honey and wax, two remarkable and energy-rich materials.
I have been using beeswax as a tool to ferment some of the Phytology mini-plums, dipping them in layers of molten wax, and letting the yeasts and sugars they contain to the work of transforming them into some amazing flavour, a fruity boozy spicy floral, a heady combination with the beeswax.
This bee is now a pile of dust balls underneath a furry carapace, as the microbes have been to work on it. I wonder if bee-hair could be put to some use? It’s super-light and microscopically branched, enabeling pollen to stick. When bees fly they generate static electricity, the bee is earthed when it lands on a stamen, at this point the pollen jumps onto its charged hairs.