ArtStart in conjunction with Refuge Friends Inc., is seeking artists to create functional and artistic houses for Minnesota’s NATIVE BEES to be displayed in the Art Gallery at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, as art of ArtStart’s 2018 EcoArts Fest. Held on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 10am-3pm, the theme of this year’s EcoArts Fest is “Protecting Our Pollinators.”
The final artwork should reflect the following criteria:
• Considers best practices in the design and decoration of houses for Minnesota’s Native Bees (see attached information)
• Builds on the theme of the 2018 EcoArts Fest “Protecting Our Pollinators”
• Can be hung on a wall or securely stand in the exhibit space
• Can be listed for sale after the event by contacting the artist directly (optional)
On the day of the event the general public will vote on their favorite bee house. A team of Native Bee Biologists will also judge each entry based on the likelihood that native bees will successfully utilize the structure (See resources for artists*). Winners will be selected based on a combined score of artistry and attention to biological requirements. A cash prize will be awarded to the artist placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.
Cash prizes will be awarded by ArtStart to artists placing 1st-3rd in the amount of $300, $225, and $150, respectively.
Minnesota is home to close to 400 species of native bees. About 30-40% of North American native bees are cavity nesters using hollow plant stems or holes in wood left by wood-boring beetles. You can attract these cavity nesting bees in a properly designed structure called a Bee House. Just like bird houses, different bee species have different preferences for hole diameter and length which must be taken into consideration when designing an artificial structure.
Please visit any of the following websites to research the requirements for the bee species of your choice. Keep in mind, just like a bird house, your design must provide for easy maintenance and cleaning. Your entry will be judged on how likely it is to attract and house your target bee species and how well it reflects an understanding of native bee preferences.
Links for information about bees native to Minnesota:
Please use this form to complete the following information and return to ArtStart by May 7, 2018.