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The roof of the CAPC contemporary art museum in Bordeaux is home to La Mine, a group of five beehives connected to an Internet platform via electronic sensors. The project combines nature, art and technology to refine our knowledge of the lives of bees and preserve their threatened ecosystem.
With a total of five hives, La Mine produces wax, propolis, honey, and data. This innovative hive is a focus of exchange and experimentation, installed on the roof of the CAPC in Bordeaux with the support of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès. Fitted with sensors, the hives produce data on bee behaviour, transmitted live via a dedicated website, aimed essentially at practical beekeepers, but available to researchers, too.
The project is the brainchild of expert beekeeper and artist Pierre Grangé-Praderas, working with a small team of computer technicians and researchers. Data collected from the hives is processed using an Open Source Beehouse Monitoring (OSBM) system to provide an electronic record of the bees’ health and wellbeing, tracking the weight, temperature and humidity of the hives in real time. The installation contributes to the development of a more analytical approach to bee-keeping, and the preservation of bio-diversity in the urban environment.
The CAPC hive is an educational project, too. Organised visits, for school groups in particular, aim to raise awareness of the vital problem of maintaining the bee population. The hives also relate to artworks inspired by bees and their products, in the CAPC collection, including pieces by Wolgang Laib, José Maria Sicilia and Mario Merz. A unique experiment that combines key elements of natural and artistic heritage.
The project was selected for support by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of the H³ programme: Head – heart – hand.