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Get Buzzed About Nature’s Heroes at Waterloo Park’s ‘SEEING BEES’ Art Exhibit

Dan Winters Brings the Honey Bees Home

April showers bring May flowers — and swarms of bees. But before you shoo away the black and yellow striped insects, SEEING BEES at Waterloo Park invites you to stop and consider the impact one tiny creature can make.

Open to the public through May 21, SEEING BEES is an engaging outdoor art installation that doubles as an educational experience. It asks viewers to contemplate the essential and unseen influence honey bees have on our biodiversity and global food industry. 

Did you know bees are responsible for pollinating 80 percent of flowering plants — including one-third of the food consumed in the United States?

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West Texas Seeing Bees Desert Door Texas SotolProtecting the Pollinators

The passion-driven art installation is produced by Wild Spirit Wild Places. It’s a non-profit established in 2021 by distilled spirit maker Desert Door Texas Sotol.

Its mission is to develop conservation projects that enhance the local ecosystem and protect Texas’ rapidly shrinking wild lands.

“This exhibit provides an amazing look at the intricacies of our bees,” says Dr. Karen Looby, Wild Spirit Wild Places CEO. “It also provides insight on how they are uniquely equipped to support the health of our environment.”

“With the help of the community,” Looby continues, “We look forward to ensuring that our pollinators across Texas are supported for generations to come.” 

Along with support from H-E-B and Guerlain, the organization partnered with Round Rock Honey and Waterloo Greenway on the installation.

SEEING BEES Through the Lens of Dan Winters

The arresting art project centers around the illustrious work of world-renowned photographer Dan Winters.

Winters has a lifelong love of entomology. He acquired his first hive at the age of nine and has pursued beekeeping throughout his career.

The SEEING BEES exhibit features a collection of large format images. They are uniquely created using a field emission scanning electron microscope from the University of Texas.

The advanced technology allows for a magnification of up to one million times. This perspective brings otherworldly and rarely observed details in nature to the forefront.

“It’s like you’re in a spaceship and you’re landing on an alien planet,” explains Winters. “You can just keep going in and in and in.”

Up Close and Personal With the Bees

The tedious process begins by soaking dead specimens in alcohol before meticulously mounting them. This heavily dictates the outcome of each photo.

They are later coated in iridium. The coating gives the small insect a silver, jewelry-like quality. This explains why the final portraits appear monochromatic.

After the entire body is photographed in sections, Winters interpolates each image. This creates a much larger file size and final output.

The resulting exhibit immerses you in every captivating detail.

Experience it while strolling through Waterloo Park’s gorgeous landscape of 90,000 native and pollinator-friendly plants.

Visit Waterloo Park daily from 5 am to 10 pm until May 21 to gain a renewed appreciation for nature’s miniature heroes. For additional information about the exhibit, head to Wild Spirit Wild Places.