The bee that loves blackberries

by Helen Ottaway

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A sound piece, written in response to Andrena flavipes, the Yellow-legged mining bee, created for the exhibition FIFTY BEES III, Brewhouse Taunton 9th March - 6th May 2019.

I have used the sound of bees as the starting point for the piece. Bees buzz by moving their flight muscles and wings as they fly. Mining bees also buzz while pollinating, vibrating the flowers to release the pollen. The pitch of the buzz varies according to the bee's size. Buzz-pollinating has its own distinctive sound.

As well as recorded sounds and musical material, I have incorporated the names of some of the plants frequented by the yellow-legged mining bee. Like me, this bee likes to forrage on brambles.


Bramble, Rubus fruticosus; Ragwort, Senecio jacobaea; Astrantia; Sweet cicely, Myrrhis odorata; Garden angelica, Angelica Archangelica


released March 8, 2019
Field recordings - Helen Ottaway
Voice - Caroline Radcliffe
Mixed by Helen Ottaway and Caroline Radcliffe


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