The Good of The Hive is an artistic initiative set up by mural painter Matthew Willey, with the goal of helping to raise awareness about the importance of honeybees to the environment. The project sees him aiming to personally paint murals that will collectively include 50,000 honeybees in total, the number necessary for a healthy beehive.
As well as highlighting the issue of the declining honeybee population, the project aims to celebrate the incredible and unique behaviour of the insects. Matthew said that the subject of his murals also acts as a metaphor for communities, showing the importance of how people collectively work together and share environments.
“Honeybees within the hive think collectively and their immune system is collective. The health of the individual is based on that of the greater population, whether it’s an actual honeybee hive or a community of human artists, kids in school or military veterans, the health and success of the individual relies heavily on connections within the group,” Matthew explains.
The project began a year and a half ago and, so far, Matthew has done murals in Florida and Washington as well as creating a stunning landscape painting covered in realistic life-sized honeybees for a client in North Carolina. He is planning to travel further afield in the coming months to paint honeybees in other countries around the world.
The Good of The Hive project also has an online store with a range of beautiful merchandise for sale including a skateboard deck, branded t-shirts and a honeybee swarm decal.
Matthew Willey has spent twenty-four years painting murals across the United States.