THE BEEHIVE COLLECTIVE

WORDS & IMAGE: KATE WEINER

And there is one question with a thousand answers

or maybe one answer with a thousand ways to ask

Earlier this fall, I sat on a beach in the blue-black of night with five close friends and several beloved mentors. Social activist, earth advocate, and total sweetheart Ryan Camero shared a scroll with us that mapped environmental maladies across the world. As the scroll passed through our circle of upturned hands, illuminated only by our headlamps, Ryan sang us a song. The lyric--"all of our grievances are connected"--particularly sparked something in my heart. There is purpose in our pain. There is power in the people.

This tremendous experience stemmed from the beautiful work of The Beehive Collective. The Beehive "is a wildly motivated, all-volunteer, activist art collective dedicated to 'cross-pollinating the grassroots' by creating." Many of the "Bees," like Ryan, travel extensively to schools, community organizations, and conferences sharing the fruit of their labors. Since launching in 2000, the Bees have collaboratively produced a number of graphic projects that meld environmental education and art. "The True Cost of Coal" graphic has helped serve many vital anti-mining campaigns; their "MESOAMÉRICA RESISTE" project illuminates "stories of resistance, resilience, and solidarity from Mexico to Colombia."

When we talk about next steps after COP21, it is important to remember that so much of what we need is already growing. My experience with The Beehive Collective gave me an incredible sense of community and granted me a new perspective on what it means to be an environmental activist. Just the single act of sharing in that scroll and song revitalized my spirit. I want for you, and whatever community you are a part of, to be able to feel that same sense of heightened awareness and renewed passion.

Maybe you are a student or teacher and want to book the Bees for a workshop at your school. Maybe you are a budding artist and searching for a way to plugin to a vibrant collective. Maybe you are feeling empowered, in the aftermath of COP21, to incite positive change in your own corner of the universe. Consider The Beehive Collective, in this way, a resource for reseeing our world and recharging the communities we belong to.

And be sure to tell us what makes you buzz (we all knew that pun was coming). The more we connect, the more we multiply the opportunities to nurture our earth. What can be sweeter than embodied hope?