Dead Bees in Crochet Sleeves – the Futility of Bandages and the Elevation to Art

Dead Bees in Crochet Sleeves – the Futility of Bandages and the Elevation to Art

Esther Traugot’s piece “Huddle 2 (Workers)” — which showed in 2016 as part of a three-artist exhibition called “Excerpts From the Natural World” — has me thinking about all sorts of big issues like colony collapse disorder (all the bees see here were found dead), the future of bees and how that relates to global food security, how death becomes art, and more practically, how did she even do that?

Dead Bees in Crochet Sleeves - the Futility of Bandages and the Elevation to Art

Huddle 2 (Workers) by Esther Traugot – real bees bandaged in crochet sleeves

The artist on her own work, excerpted from the East Bay Express, “I think that at face value I’m picking up these objects and kind of caring for them, and the crochet wrappings are blankets or some kind of support,” Traugot said. But, she continued, in the larger scheme of things, her actions are futile and self-indulgent — indicative of the way that humans tend to separate themselves from “Nature” arbitrarily. “As bandage or cozy, these support structures investigate the relationship between nurturing and controlling nature,” reads her artist statement. “My interest in the objects extends from the notion of landscape and how we not only experience, but also negotiate with the natural world.”

See more images of Esther Traugot’s amazing and incredibly delicate work, plus get more details on the show: Chandra Cerrito Contemporary – I wish I were visiting California this summer.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Artist and Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, Oakland

About The Author


Danielle Holke is a long-time knitter, first taught by her beloved grandmother as a young girl growing up in Canada. In 2008 she launched KnitHacker, a lively blog and knitting community which has since grown to be a popular presence in contemporary knitting culture, reaching more than a million readers each year. As a marketing professional, Danielle advises and works with a motley squad of artists, yarn bombers, film makers, pattern designers, yarn companies and more. Learn more about her latest book, Knits & Pieces: A Knitting Miscellany.


  1. Sue

    I think it is a very powerful ‘statement’, the idea of putting on a bandage or in colloquial English a ‘Band-Aid approach’ for a problem of such enormity is very apt, as it is unfortunately all too true of human behaviour. There is also with colony collapse the idea of a cover-up because no government really wants to tackle the problem. The idea of protest through art is successful because people take time to think things over and the image remains with them and therefore the message does also. Thanks for posting and all the very best from Normandie.

    • knithack

      Really great insights, Sue – thank you.


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