In this series, Harmon-Hay reflects on her ongoing life as a hobbyist beekeeper by commenting on human’s relationship to beauty. “We put such emphasis on perfectly manicured and colorful landscapes with no thought as to how this need affects the bees,” she says. Her representation of the struggles of man versus nature, with the perfect symmetry of the background patterns as the setting for the industrious and vulnerable bee, underscores her hope that both beauty and survival will prevail.
In beekeeping, a Queen is introduced to the hive in a cage, giving the other bees time to acclimate to her scent. Once she is accepted, the worker bees will eat away the sugar cork allowing her to enter the hive. She is then free to rule the colony and lay her eggs, making the community strong. The women in each portrait represent the gentle, yet dominant, nature of the matriarch. Each piece focuses on a North Eastern pollinating plant which the bees will harvest, turning its nectar into honey. The queens are paired with the flower and season that best suit their personalities.