Various artists

Alice Forward: Giant Varroa Destructor Mite

varroa destructor and apis mellifera mellifera

Varroa Destructor Mite 625,000,000:1, beeswax and honey by Alice Forward


Alice Forward is a sculptor and recent winner of the Site Darbyshire award.

Completed in February 2010, the Varroa Mite sculpture was exhibited at the BEELINES show at Stroud Valleys Artspace. Made mostly from beeswax and honey, its dimensions are: 840mm x 940mm x 600mm, and enclosed in a museum case 9000mm x 1000m x 2000mm.

A tiny worker bee is stood on her own perspex pedestal next to the Varroa Mite sculpture. The bee contrasts with the Varroa Mite sculpture’s size, which is 625 million times as large as a real Varroa destructor mite.

The Varroa Mite sculpture may be featured in a late summer event at Buckfast Abbey, but in the meantime it languishes loomingly in Forward’s Bedminster studio.

The Varroa destructor mite is a parasite of honeybees. It sucks the blood of both adult honeybees and larvae, leaving them less resistant to infectious disease, and is thought to be a contributing factor in Colony Collapse Disorder.



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