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Art for the Benefit of Bees

Bees have many advantages for us humans. Our relation to them has extended for thousands of years, with some researchers finding evidence of our ancestors' exploitation of bees during the ice age, 10.000 years ago [1]. However, our relationship is not just limited to enjoying their honey and other bee products. Bees have also served as an inspiration, a drive for various cultural products. They stimulate our creativity, both directly and indirectly.

Bees have earned a privileged position in our culture. We find their presence in traditional beehive painting in Slovenia (Panjska končnica) [2], in music (who isn't familiar with the flight of the bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov?), in literature and even other forms of art. Today, bees are facing several risks, and not only their cultural value but also their indispensable role in nature and agriculture is at stake.

The Ó! Gallery in Portugal is combining the inspiring nature of bees and their need for support, bringing an exhibition called "To Bee or Not to Bee"[3]. The gallery is showcasing 30 different artists from Portugal and abroad to raise awareness about the challenges that bees are facing. With an exhibition entirely inspired by bees and their essential role in the balance of ecosystems, the Ó! Gallery is bringing this important species to the spotlight.

Besides raising awareness, the gallery and the artists have another charitable cause. 5% of all sales during the exhibition will be donated to BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination to help continue our work for a better future for bees, the environment and ourselves. We at BeeLife are grateful for the generosity of the Ó! Gallery and the artists. The exhibition counts with the support of BeeLife. We hope that as many participants as possible are encouraged to conceive a better future for bees so that they might continue inspiring us and our future generations.

Practical information:

Ó! Galeria Porto : Rua Miguel Bombarda, 61 - Exhibition opening 3 August, 2019

Ó Galeria Lisbon: Calçada de Santo André, 86 - Exhibition opening 10 August, 2019

More information at


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