Wearable Garden Creates Food for Bees
All around the world, bees are dying and no one can figure out why.
The worst part, writes Care2′s Kristina Chew, is that the dramatic drop in population is especially being seen in domesticated honey bees who are useful in agriculture. Officially, scientists and agricultural specialists are calling the phenomenon Colony Collapse Disorder, an epidemic that’s resulted in the loss of millions of bees since it was observed starting in about 1995.
One of the best things that you can do to support the bee population in your area is to plant organic gardens full of plenty of attractive flowers for the bees to feed on. If you live in the city, where gardening space is scarce, you might want to changing your shirt instead.
Created through collaboration between artist Karen Ingham and several scientific institutions, The Pollinator Frocks Project is a limited edition collection of clothing based on scanning electron microscopy images of plant pollen grains linked to endangered pollinators.
The fabrics are treated with pollinator food sources that replicate nectar, which will be specially coated onto the fabric prior to cut and assembled as “pollinator frocks” (loose fitting unisex clothing).
“The designs consist of ‘day-wear’ for insects such as bees and butterflies and ‘evening-wear’ for moths. In the urban environment where garden space is limited and nectar rich plants rare, the clothing can be hung out as clothes are hung on a washing line, to act as an attractant to pollinators,” writes Ingham on her website.
Working with technologists at the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating, Ingham found aromas and materials that mimic the way insects relate to flowers. Ingham sees these “wearable gardens” as a way to stabilize bee populations in areas where nectar-rich plants are rare, and as a way to generate some “buzz” about their dwindling populations.
Learn more about this unique and functional fashion statement in the video clip below:
Image Credit: Karen Ingham