Why The BeeArc?
The BeeArc is a response to two related issues:
- The catastrophic decline in the health and wellbeing of the honeybee.
- The accumulating crisis that is now facing human beings.
Challenges Facing Honeybees: Colony Collapse Disorder
Around 100 years ago the Austrian scientist Rudolf Steiner suggested if we continue to commercialise bees in the way we do they would suffer critical decline. This has now come about. The most dramatic illustration of this is what has come to be known as Colony Collapse Disorder. It is a frighteningly accurate description of what is happening.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency:
Colony Collapse Disorder is the phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the queen.
The crisis for the honeybee in the US is that it has been pushed to the limit in so many ways that the vital forces which maintain the integrity of colonies of up to 70,000 bees, acting as one superorganism, simply collapses. The bee colony falls apart, its complex non-physical immune system no longer able to coordinate the extraordinary organisational form that is the honeybee colony. No single issue is responsible rather the accumulative pressure created by the demand of commercialisation.
Given the central importance of the honeybee for human food production alone, human beings need to do something about this. But human beings have got problems of their own, some would say we are the problem!
Challenges Facing Human Beings: Community Collapse Disorder
Human beings live in a time of unparalleled access (for some) to education, leisure and material comfort. And yet we have never faced so many challenges and difficulties. As individuals we face a pandemic of social isolation, alongside increasing mental and physical illness. As citizens we face global economic uncertainty, social unrest at home, impending climate disaster and international conflict that would seem to be growing daily. Like the honeybee we too are facing a complex of stresses that threatens to overwhelm us, community collapse disorder perhaps. But unlike the honeybee who rely upon us as human beings, we have the capacity to do something about it.
Back to Three-Dimensional Human Beings?
Central to the human dilemma it would seem is the sense that we have become one dimensional – we see the world through purely economic-tinted glasses. But human beings, like all things, are not one dimensional but three dimensional. We not only have physical needs and desires, we have a deeply rooted social and community being, as well as an equally important cultural and spiritual being, or sense of self. We need to balance, nourish and care for all three of these needs. It is these three dimensions that make up our threefold immune defence.
The BeeArc: Reconnecting with our Roots
The BeeArc sets out to provide a threefold exploration of both the challenges facing the honeybee and nature as well as the challenges facing human beings.
- A Place to Find Out - A Discovery Centre
The centre will be a place, a space where we can explore both the issues facing the honeybee and nature and where we can find out what’s happening as well as explore where we fit in.
- A Place to Study - A Research Institute
The Institute will be a place where, in collaboration with local universities we will carry out research into the complex nature of our shared challenges – honeybees and human beings.
- A Place to Put into Practice: A Craft Community
The Craft Community will be a place where we can actually try out some new hopefully more sustainable ways of living together, working together, and understanding and celebrating the extraordinary wonder of being human.