Surely bees must be thriving... right??
Unfortunately, a recent study done from over 3600 registered NZ bee keepers are showing that hive losses are being recorded at a staggering rate of around 10% per year- and consistently for the last few years! Why??
The honey bee does in fact have a few enemies; Varroa Mite (this video for more information) and introduced wasps are two major pests for the honey bee and factor in slow demise of our precious honey bees. Another sad reason is starvation- there is simply not enough food for the bees! We need to help them!
Honey & Cocoa are enthusiastic about sustainable beekeeping practices. This means not being greedy- and ensuring the bees are feeding on their own honey through winter and not sugar water as a replacement. We also want to help our little buddies by getting rid of their enemies that us people unfortunately introduced to them.
The following beehives have been purchased by us from our friends at Beequip NZ and then painted by generous and talented local artists!
They will be displayed over Autumn throughout our region, kicking off at the Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival! Most of these original, incredibly unique and valuable items will then be auctioned off- which means yes! You can own one of these. Below are a couple of sneak previews as well as information on each artist;
Hive # 1
Title: ELEMENTAL - There is Beauty in the World.
Artist: Jenny Mehrtens
E L E M E N T A L “My memories of growing up are of spending hours and hours outside - playing, exploring.We spent long summers and many weekends at our family “Camp” in a remote clearing in a Beech Forest near Waikaia, in Southland. The forest, bush and the creek were our natural playground.We entertained ourselves with adventures in with simple things – we encountered nature in a kiwi way - it was elemental.
This series lays out the elements of the southern New Zealand forest and bushland. I want to capture in these works the majesty and delight of objects and textures that intrigued and molded me when I discovered them when I was younger – simple but strong influences that have stayed with me in life.

I want to reflect and celebrate the beauty of a fluttering or poised butterfly; the playfulness of a falling sycamore “helicopter” seed; the intimacy of a Ladybird landing on you bringing you good luck; the comedy of an acorn with its hat on; the part fear and part joyful intrigue of a buzzy Bee searching you out; the Dragonflies drifting around a pond; the beauty of Kowhai and of ferns unfurling: the friendly Robin. It makes me think about people nowadays living in built up areas, with no connection to nature, and children with their eyes glues to ipads, and what they are missing out on.”
Hive # 2
Title: Colourfields
Artist: Olivia Wensley
Location for Autumn Festival: Unwind Cafe
Olivia Wensley is passionate about colour – and this comes through in all her paintings. She describes her style as abstract expressionism, celebrating the joy of colour. To get the brightest possible colours, Olivia uses house paints by Resene, which are highly pigmented. She is also a keen photographer and loves capturing the beautiful Wakatipu sunsets – which inspire her work. 
Hive # 3
Title: Us and Bees
Artist: Raphael Karnuth
Location for Autumn Festival: The Fork and Tap
 Growing up in Berlin Germany, I discovered art and painting from an early age and only started to actively paint in 2004. I left Germany in 2007 and have since lived in New Zealand throughout the country and have immersed myself in arts and culture. I have met various NZ artists along the way and continue to develop my style and artwork trying to find all types of media to present my art on. Art was always something that was part of my life, be it the street art, traditional art or surrealistic art that has shaped my style today. While studying Media Arts in New Plymouth I realised that I wanted to keep art as part of my life and to myself as a person. Since studying Environmental Management, I became even more aware of our surrounding environment and the species that have disappeared and the environmental degradation that occurred throughout the world. Bees play a vital part in our ecosystems and need to be protected under all circumstances. Being able to be part of this project is truly exciting and I feel
privileged to present my art in connection with awareness of an important member of our ecosystem/environment.
Hive # 4
Title: Kiwiana (The land we live in)
Artist: Andie King 
Location for Autumn Festival: The Arrowtown Museum
My love for vintage advertising, labels and typography is usualyy portrayed in my Artwork in one way or another. I am also influenced by the look of natural deterioration of aging surfaces and objects. 
Most of my work is done by using acrylics, on textured canvases, weed or any other unusual item I can find to paint on. My art tends to be in bold colours for more of an eye catching effect.
I am a self taught artist, so everything takes me on a journey of learning and discovery. I love not knowing what each canvas is going to end up looking like.
Hive # 5
Title: B52 Fuchsia Love Shack
Artists: Kay Turner and Ro Bradshaw
Location for Autumn Festival: Queenies Dumplings
Inspired by the bands hit song and the 50's Beehive hair style reference. The shack was a tin roof cabin set way back in the middle of a field with no plumbing. Fuchsia pink (a favourite word in spelling bees) represents good health, life, compassion, harmony and love towards others.
 Hive # 6
Title: Alpenglow Dreams
Artist: Jasper Fox Design (Jaime Fleming - artist)
Location for Autumn Festival: The Golden Fleece
As a scenic idealist, and I love creating alpine inspired artwork. My unique style combines bold line work with playful colour to encompass the freedom and wildness of being in the mountains. I also enjoy working as a brand illustrator creating iconic imagery for like-minded brands and their individual needs.
Hive # 7
Title: 4 Seasons of Arrowtown
Artist: Marijke Lups
Location for Autumn Festival: Dudley's Cottage
The starting point for the entire project. Marijke is always innovating and creating with new ideas in arts and crafts. Currently invested in using by products of honey- (beeswax) Marijke is also making purifying candles and beeswax lunch bags. This beehive was made in 2018 and attracted plenty of attention from passerby's for its clever beauty- leading to the development of the art project.
Joie de Vivre - enjoyment of life.
beehive side 2 marijke
For more information and to donate, please visit GIVE-A-LITTLE
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