My current work concerns itself with the collapse of the honey bee population. I wish to raise awareness of this problem for all of us.Bees have sustained farming practices as far back as 4500 years, and are the most important pollinator of crops and native plant species in Ireland.
Three-quarters of our wild plants rely on insects for pollination, and bees are most important. Crops such as apples, tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries are reliant on bees for pollination. Without the honey bee, farming practices would have to change drastically. Hand-pollination by humans would become necessary and lead to increases in food prices. Our bees are amongst the most hardworking and undervalued contributors to Irish agriculture. Bees are extremely sensitive to pesticide use. They are also losing habitat.
Through my work, I wish to draw attention to this and help to encourage bee-friendly farming practices. Could our government and Department of Agriculture research ways to cut down on pesticide use? Could it incentivise farmers and land owners to reserve bee-friendly borders around their fields? Can they afford not to?
I have walked the fields around where I live in County Kildare and observed the native plants growing on the borders of crop fields. They would not survive without bees. My paintings feature these plants. Through the beauty of the forms and colours of these plants, I wish to convey a sober message.