"The rationality of favouring monoculture, in the fields or at school, is destroying worlds."
- Isabelle Strengers, Resister au Desastre.
Hives is back! Yes, it's a book about beehives, but it possesses a trojan horse brilliance too: witness how great art and literature uses the particular to access the universal.
The modern beehive was patented and standardised in 1852 which meant lots of other techniques and experimental innovations in hive making and design were then neglected or forgotten. This extraordinary visual archive of 371 beehives is a testament to human ingenuity, reviving these lost skills and talents. The book is an optimistic insight into folk art, craft, creativity, community and possibility, portraying some 4000 years of bee-tech and the history of the hive.
We begin by marvelling at eccentric and strange looking hives from around the world but with the help of an illuminating introductory text we end up understanding the harm monoculture and mass production causes, of which bees are just one example of the selfish destruction humans wilfully cause. Hives becomes an object lesson in the importance of protecting and encouraging diversity, complexity and creativity in order to survive.
A book as fine art.
Originally published by RVB in 2020 but immediately sold out and sought after £££.
Re-Published in a second edition March 2022. Scoop now to avoid remorse.