List of Physical Visualizations
and Related Artifacts

2015 – Beeswax Maps Crafted by Bees


Artist Ren Ri uses beeswax as his medium for making geographical maps and a bee colony as the builder. This original project results in beautiful data visualizations collaboratively crafted by a human and a bee colony! Here's how it works:

Because a colony will follow the queen bee and build a hive based on the pheromones that she releases, Ri is able to move the queen such that the others in the colony act accordingly.

More details on the project can be found on the Flowing Data blog [1]:

The three-part series is called Yuansu, which translates to "a comprehension of the gestalt of life". One part is a collection of abstract sculptures, and another is a performance with the bees themselves. But the first part, which Ri and the bees created back in 2008, is a series of geographic maps.

Ren Ri's beeswax sculptures were exhibited at Pearl Lam Galleries Soho unti April 12, 2015.

More pictures on Flowing Data [1] and MyModernMet [2].


  1. Flowing Data. Getting bees to construct geographic maps.
  2. Alice Yoo's article Elaborate World Maps Made of Beeswax by Ren Ri
  3. Perl Lam Galleries website : 

Added by: Fanny Chevalier. Category: Physical model  Tags: beeswax, cartographic, geography