“The Six of Bees”
© John Houston – 2015
Imaging: Image House Digital, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Size: Six images, each 22″ x 34″
Paper: Matte archival artist’s paper
Inks: Archivally rated to last 125 to 200 years
Edition: Limited to ten signed and numbered sets of six photos each
Price: USD$ 6,000. + shipping (plus HST for Canadian purchasers)
Donation: Price includes a USD$ 1,000. tax-deductible donation to a bee organization in your region.


The Story

Here is the story behind “The Six of Bees.”  It begins with the marriage between my 40 years experience in filmmaking and photography and my wife Ree’s 40 years in conservation biology.  Recently, Ree has been working to increase the bio-diversity of our backyard.  While helping her, I noticed I was surrounded by bees, lots of them!  I took to standing in the garden observing the bees, and then photographing them.

I also remembered something photographer Freeman Patterson told the passengers during a lecture presented on one of Adventure Canada’s Arctic voyages – that the Arctic was exotic and visually fascinating, but to take a good photograph, one didn’t need to go any further than one’s own back yard.  His words stuck with me, and that’s what Ree and I have done here.

I was excited by the stuff I was capturing, so I got together with local digital imaging specialist, Craig Yorke, to see what could be done with them.  The result is six images in heroic size, printed on matte archival artist’s paper, “The Six of Bees.”  The size of each photo is:  22″ x 34″.  Paper and inks are archivally rated to last 125 to 200 years (depending on the amount of direct sunlight they receive).

I intend for them to be framed individually, and then hung together, to make a wall mural roughly 5′ x 10′, ideal for an expansive display in an environmentally-minded institution – or perhaps a large private home?  I am limiting the edition to ten signed and numbered sets of six photos each (plus one artist’s proof set, which I will retain for exhibition purposes).

Mi’kmaq elder Wilma Simon used the series to help underscore the interdependence of all life – and its fragility.  Ecologist Graham Dearborn used them to teach the audience about the plight of bees, whose death in the billions is threatening the very fabric of our ecology and food production, as you are likely aware.

I included the photo above, the full display of the “Six of Bees,” to give a sense of its scale – but I wish you could see them in person, as I believe you would find the series deeply immersive, an environment of its own…

The price of the series “The Six of Bees” is USD$ 6,000. (plus shipping), of which $5,000. will go to the photographer – me, and $1,000. to a non-profit organization working to protect bees, and ready to provide an income tax receipt for their $1,000. portion to the purchaser).

Ree and I see this as the crossroads of art and conservation, an opportunity for inspiration and action. We hope “The Six of Bees” finds a few good homes.  This would allow us to move forward on other projects along these lines.


Call John at 1-866-634-8869 (toll-free in North America) or email: john (at) to purchase or further discuss “The Six of Bees”