top of page

Exhibition gives a bees' eye view at World Museum

The world of bees is explored in a stunning and unique new exhibition opening at World Museum Liverpool this weekend.

Bees: A Story of Survival is the result of a partnership between the William Brown Street museum and award-winning multi-sensory artist and sculptor Wolfgang Buttress.

Visitors are plunged directly into the heart of a living colony of bees thanks to a live stream, and the exhibition unfolds over eight interactive rooms which create a hive-like structure with people following a trail from trees to wildflower meadows which aims to highlight bees’ vital role as pollinators.

Aided by a combination of cutting-edge technology combined with art, it means visitors can experience a bees’ eye view of the world.

Timed tickets mean only a maximum of 25 people will be able to enter the world every 30 minutes to maximise the sensory experience.

The exhibition arises from a decade-long collaboration between Buttress and physicist and bee communication expert Professor Martin Bencsik which includes the multi award-winning 55ft/17metre tall immersive sensory sculpture The Hive which can be found at Kew Gardens, and BEAM which was debuted at Glastonbury in 2019.

Conversations started with World Museum Liverpool five years ago, and the final exhibition has been made possible by specialist curators responsible for the museum's extensive entomology collection which boasts 30,000 specimens of bees.

A slideshow of images from the exhibition

The structure of the exhibition is designed to be able to be transported without a huge carbon footprint, and is made of materials including extensive use of wood.

Wolfgang Buttress said: “Bees can be seen as sentinels of the earth. They’ve been around for over 120 million years and are exquisitely tuned to the environment.

“Their health and wellbeing mirror the health of the Earth and they’re dying in unprecedented numbers. Their existential challenges reflect our own – they die and suffer, we die and suffer.”

Speaking about the exhibition, he adds: “The intention is to create an emotionally engaging and sensory-stimulating experience to express the wonder and diversity of bees. I want the audience to feel empathy as well as an understanding and appreciation of these incredible creatures.

“If we love and respect bees a little bit more after seeing this exhibition then we may well make the earth a better place for them and us to live in.”

Above: An area of urban wildflower 'meadow' outside World Museum Liverpool

Museum entomologist Tony Hunter said: "When people think about bees it's usually about honey bees, but they are essentially domesticated and there are only about 12 species although they live in huge colonies of up to 40,000.

"The majority of the 20,000 species worldwide are wild bees, with many of them found in the tropics and rainforests - and most of them are solitary.

"We can all do our bit to create a habitat for bees, even if you only have a small yard with a bit of greenery. People should think about seasonal planting throughout the year and leave verges and other areas until after plants have flowered."

Following its stay at World Museum Liverpool, the exhibition will go on a global tour.

Bees: A Story of Survival is at World Museum Liverpool from Saturday, May 4 to May 5, 2025. Tickets are £12 with concessions. More information HERE


bottom of page