In Part 2 of this two-part episode with Matt Willey of The Good of the Hive, Matt and I discuss how gaining a broader awareness of pollinators and the ways they fit into our ecosystem can move people to engage in simple but meaningful actions to care for the earth and in the process connect more deeply with one another.
Thank you for tuning in!
Creating human connections mirrors the ways bees work collectively in their hive.
Matt is buoyed by the positive energy generated by all the people who come to watch him create his murals. Children as well as adults become fascinated with the bees as they are being painted, and this energy naturally leads to a desire to learn more about bees and other pollinators.
Matt and I spoke about the dangers of toxic chemicals, particularly glyphosate-based herbicides like RoundUp and neonicotinoids, and how they impact bees and cause disruption to their hives. But he was careful to remind me that his primary purpose is to inspire and build connections within the communities where he paints, not to reprimand people for being uninformed or irresponsible. To Matt, forming connections is the most valuable outcome of his work.
Matt seeks to avoid instilling fear around the extinction of bees, but instead to encourage collective interest around them by building awareness, curiosity, and passion?
There is so much change that needs to happen in order for us to stay on this planet successfully.
If we can get everyone excited and onboard with something as simple as the bee to rally around, they will take those learnings elsewhere. Imagine if we lived in a world where everyone was curious and fascinated and allowed their curiosity to inspire action? Curiosity can move the needle.
Two things that bees symbolize which humans crave are: 1. Sense of purpose and 2. Connectedness.
As an art activist, Matt’s goal is to help spark those connections. He’s certain that bringing people together through a common interest in pollinators is the key. Pollinators are not just the beneficiaries, they are the catalysts for change!
SOME QUESTIONS I ASK MATT
- Can you share a few stories of the people who have inspired your journey so far?
- In what ways do you see your organization evolving over the next five or ten years?
“All great art asks questions.”
Since this episode was recorded, Matt and his small production team have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a film about the beauty and power of human connection. For more information on Matt’s film project and to donate, go to his website.
A Monk in the Beehive (book)
David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (Netflix special)