Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Buzzing Artist Swarms City Walls to Save the Bees

Buzzing Artist Swarms City Walls to Save the Bees

With a little help from a spray can, a London-based street artist is swarming urban walls with a simple but important message: Save the bees.

Buzzworthy artist Louis Masai Michel is raising awareness about colony collapse disorder through his art. Here is one of his murals in London's East End. Photo Credit: Louis Masai Michel

According to the artist's website, Louis Masai Michel and his collaborator Jim Vision have painted these beautiful bee murals to raise awareness about the planet's dwindling bee population and the "detrimental effects upon the human race if they disappear."

Protecting the planet's fragile bee population is not only important for saving honey and wax, honey bees—wild and domestic—perform about 80 percent of all pollination worldwide. In fact, seventy out of the top 100 human food crops, which supply about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition, are pollinated by bees. However, our favorite black-and-yellow pollinators are dying off due to pesticides, drought, habitat loss, pollution and other major environmental concerns, scientists have said.

Insights writer Dr. David Suzuki wrote that neonicotinoid pesticides, or "neonics," have been identified as one of the main culprits to the die-offs. While scientists say the evidence is clear, the global food market has been slow to wake up to this reality. As Suzuki pointed out, "Neonics make up about 40 percent of the world insecticide market, with global sales of $2.63 billion in 2011—and growing. That may explain why, despite increasing evidence that they’re harmful, there’s been such strong resistance to phasing them out or banning them."

A report from the U.S. National Agriculture Statistics found that the honey bee population in the country has declined from about six million hives in 1947 to 2.4 million hives in 2008, a 60 percent reduction.

Looks like being a bee isn't so easy. Some of Michel's artworks appears to show what life may be like for the buzzing insects. Check out the murals below with the haunting words, "When we go, we're taking you all with us" on a wall in Shoreditch.

This mural was done on a wall in London's East End. Photo credit: Louis Masai Michel

There's also this grim closeup of an overturned bee with a sign that says "Save me" on Brick Lane's Sclater Street in England.

A report from the U.S. National Agriculture Statistics found that the honey bee population in the country has declined from about six million hives in 1947 to 2.4 million hives in 2008, a 60 percent reduction. Photo credit: Louis Masai Michel

According to Colossal, after the murals became wildly popular in the English capital, they have since spread to Bristol, Glastonbury, Croatia, New York, Miami and New Orleans. You can track the artist's work with the Twitter hashtag #SaveTheBees. Below, you'll see a commissioned mural at a quince farm in Devon, England.

The inspiration behind the murals stemmed from a trip to South Africa where Michel learned about the devastating impacts of colony collapse disorder. Photo credit: Louis Masai Michel

A commissioned mural at a quince farm in Devon, England. Photo credit: Louis Masai Michel

The inspiration behind the murals stemmed from a trip to South Africa where Michel learned about the devastating impacts of colony collapse disorder that's plaguing honeybee populations around the world. Colossal writes that Michel is currently taking a break from the bee murals to work on a different art project, but he plans to pick up phase two the bee project sometime next year.

Artists Jim Vision and Louis Masai Michel in front of their mural in Shoreditch. Photo Credit: Louis Masai Michel

Ever the artist-conservationist, Michel also creates art to raise awareness for other rare or endangered animals species around the world, such as the grey African crowned crane,  Rothschild's giraffes, rhinos and more.

Michel realizes there is only so much that art can do, but points out the importance of raising awareness. "I'm not saying that by me painting a painting it's going to save any animals," he says in the video below (where he's spray-painting a picture of a Scottish bobcat at an art party). "But it might mean that people are a little but more woken. They're like, 'Oh, okay, there's only 400 bobcats left in the world. That's pretty interesting.' And then maybe they might look into it a little bit."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Pick the Winner: 32 Endangered Animals Face Off in March Sadness Bracket

SeaWorld Whistleblower Tells Jon Stewart ‘Morally This is Just Not Right’

Revolutionary Honey Harvesting Beehive Crowdsources $2 Million in First Day

Air France airplanes parked at the Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport on March 24, 2020. SAMSON / AFP via Getty Images

France moved one step closer this weekend to banning short-haul flights in an attempt to fight the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A woman looks at a dead gray whale on the beach in the SF Bay area on May 23, 2019; a new spate of gray whales have been turning up dead near San Francisco. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Four gray whales have washed up dead near San Francisco within nine days, and at least one cause of death has been attributed to a ship strike.

Read More Show Less
Trending
A small tourist town has borne the brunt of a cyclone which swept across the West Australian coast. ABC News (Australia) / YouTube

Tropical Cyclone Seroja slammed into the Western Australian town of Kalbarri Sunday as a Category 3 storm before grinding a more-than 600-mile path across the country's Southwest.

Read More Show Less
A general view shows the remains of a dam along a river in Tapovan, India, on February 10, 2021, following a flash flood caused by a glacier break on February 7. Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty Images

By Rishika Pardikar

Search operations are still underway to find those declared missing following the Uttarakhand disaster on 7 February 2021.

Read More Show Less
Indigenous youth, organizers with the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipeline fights and climate activists march to the White House to protest against pipeline projects on April 1, 2021. Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Indigenous leaders and climate campaigners on Friday blasted President Joe Biden's refusal to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review, which critics framed as a betrayal of his campaign promises to improve tribal relations and transition the country to clean energy.

Read More Show Less