From February until May 2023, our family of Bees went to the Asia Pacific region to tour with the Beehive’s True Cost of Coal and Mesoamérica Resiste graphics, inspiring discussions about the intersections of colonialism, resource extraction, corporate globalization, workers movements and climate change. All in all, we did over 100 presentations at 70 different events, including an 8,000-person electronic music festival, a buddhist temple, bookstores, occupations, street parties, community centres, conferences, cafes, protests and 12 different schools, from middle schools to universities in Aotearoa, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan.
While the Maine hive is in need of reorganization and downsizing, bees in other parts of the world are still busy continuing the educational and cross-pollinization mission of the collective. Popular education and picture lecture workshops are still available in many parts of the US and Canada. Want to host a workshop? Get in touch at [email protected].
In Colombia the work of las Abejas of Polinizaciones has evolved into a decentralized swarm throughout the country that uses graphic campaign storytelling, collective mural creation, performance art and social cartography as a means of helping communities create their own narratives and assisting different land and water defense movements develop cultural and artistic strategies, while also increasing youth participation.
In California, the California Allegory Project has launched with story-telling events around the Bay Area. Get in touch wth [email protected] to hear about or book story-tellings and stay tuned for a California-wide tour in 2020!
Some bees have moved on from the Beehive Collective, but continue to do wonderful and similar popular education work with other projects:
Dear Friends and Supporters of the Hive,
For the past year, the Beehive Design Collective has been operating with few active bees dispersed around the Americas and even fewer bees tending to our Maine headquarters in Machias. As a result, we have been unable to maintain the webstore responsibly as our volunteer capacity has been minimal, suffering personal tragedies, navigating challenges from external forces, and trying to keep up with bills beyond our means in a financial climate that has prevented us from successfully downsizing our commitments. In order to give proper attention to the backlog of webstore orders and other urgent matters, we have temporarily shut down our online sales component of the collective. The store will reopen with improvements to its supply chain that offer off-site shipping and fulfillment, allowing us to focus on the production of materials rather than every step of the self-publishing process. We are looking forward to this necessary evolution of our art distribution methods. (more…)
This fall we are releasing the long-awaited 3rd graphic in our epic trilogy about globalization and colonialism in the Americas: MESOAMÉRICA RESISTE. After nine years in the making, we are so excited to bring this poster to you when we’re on the road this fall. Keep an eye out for a BIG announcement coming soon about a Kickstarter campaign to fund the print run, along with the launch of our new website!
Want to host the Hive? We are now booking tour stops all over the eastern half of the US, from late September through early December. We’re potentially available to travel anywhere from the Northeast to the Southeast, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast.
We’d love to come to your city, town, school, event, community center, or backyard, to share our storytelling graphics that explore both economics and ecology, and connect the dots between social and environmental struggles. Learn more about our presentations & workshops.
We’re not sure how it happened, but it’s the week of the Blackfly Ball already! We’re busy posting our beautiful 2013 poster all over town, gearing up around the house for welcoming tons of visitors, and starting to pick out our costumes for this shindig.
As the week progresses the tents will begin to bloom all over our yard like mushrooms and the line for the bathroom will become an important factor in daily life as friends and soon-to-be-friends pour in from all over the continent to celebrate with us. We’ll put them all to work, helping us string twinkly lights, clean the Grange, load in musical instruments, and give house tours to latecomers.
All of the preparation and hullabaloo will culminate THIS SATURDAY, August 17, in an evening of dress-up and merrymaking, as we shake our booties and celebrate summer. There’ll be a whole slew of bands playing, including: What Cheer? Brigade, Hymn for Her, Toughcats, Pitch Black Ribbons, Machias Ukelele Club, The Orange River Jazz Band, Live Bait, Milk and Honey Rebellion, Fremont Street Band, Pink Capos, Jo(h)nband, plus an Open Mic and Local Youth Showcase.
For more info or to say you’re coming you can check out the event page.
Y’all can get your own copy of the poster when you get to town, or order it online here.
A whole troupe of Bees caravanned up to Montreal for the Anarchist Bookfair back in May, and while we were there Nicole squeezed a quick interview at the college radio station. She talks a bit about the Beehive Design Collective and shares details about the research, design, and drawing work that went into the Mesoamérica Resiste graphics campaign.
Our friend Dylan came from Grand Rapids and lived on our couch for a month to share his design wizardry and help us with the first steps of making a super complex Kickstarter video.
The set is a room in a currently raw space on the third floor of the old Machias 5 & 10 building. The walls are marked by exposed wood and stained, peeling wallpaper, and when you walk through the place you have to maneuver around piles of rubble and buckets to catch the leaks. Eventually this space will be fixed up and converted to a mix of community spaces, including a mosaic studio, an adult education classroom, a letterpress studio, and more. For this project, however, we converted one of the rooms into a space that felt like a mix between an old grandmothers room full of memories and a prohibition era speakeasy (or what we imagine one might look like if we were its proprietors).
Over the course of a month we spent many long days and late nights breathing the dust of the old space as we fixed it up just so. We hauled a bunch of beautiful old picture frames, inherited from some of our local friends, out of storage and tried out many different configurations of how the frames might fit together on the floor. After hours of hammering eyeholes, stringing wire, making cardboard backs, and picking photos, we strung them floor to ceiling on the walls from the still-intact crown molding. Meanwhile illustrators sat drawing and redrawing plants and earths and insects for all the stop animation that had been dreamed up.
Once the first round of filming finally happened, we finally let Dylan move back to Michigan, and soon we’ll be able to share with you this massive video project, as we ask you to help us fund a large scale print run of our latest narrative graphic, Mesoamérica Resiste.
Read article here.
The Blackfly Ball 2012