Students ‘swarm’ to pollinator exhibit

From staff reports

If you haven’t noticed, the town is buzzing with bee decals. Applied to almost every shop window in town, the decals are part of the month-long “What’s the Buzz About Bees?” awareness event hosted by the Black Mountain Center for the Arts. The event was organized by Libba Tracey, who also created the decals.

“This is truly a community event,” she said. “I was so pleased with the level of enthusiasm shared by the shop owners and their willingness to be a part of this important event. There is a growing awareness of the pollinator population decline and a hunger to learn ways to help.”

To announce the event and add to the awareness of the bee crisis, five giant-size honey bees were created by fiber artist Teresa Coté and are now suspended in front of the arts center.

Then came the bee decals flying in a characteristic zigzag pattern on the windows though town, and next came the art gallery full of regionally produced bee-specific artwork at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St., through Oct. 9. The gallery is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

This week there will be two more student “swarms” at 11 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 16 and 17. Local third graders are congregating in Town Square to receive their own bee hand puppet and kazoo (to create the “buzz”). While there, they’ll watch Faerie Kin stilt-walking bee performance artists. Then they’ll move in a swarm to the arts center where they will view the bee art in the gallery.

They’ll listen to bee educator Sarah Eshan, a storyteller and “bee whisperer” who visits her 60 hives daily and makes honey. Following the swarm, students will be given bee garden seed packets to take home and plant.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for residents of all ages to gather together, celebrate the bees and continue to build an awareness of the fragility of our local ecosystem and the impact of pollinators worldwide,” Black Mountain Center for the Arts Center executive director Gale Jackson said. “I really love that we can share amazing artwork from local and regional artists to help us deliver this important message.”

The public is welcome to witness the swarms and cheer the students on. Members of the Black Mountain Rotary Club will be directing traffic and making sure the swarm arrives safely at the arts center. This project is supported by a grant from Rotary District 7670 and the local club.

For more, visit or call 669-0930.