Artist Grows Beautiful Crystals on Dead Bees

August 7, 2013 | Andy Cush

Underneath the bright blue mass of geometric crystals you see above is something much more discomfiting: a dead bee, one of many victims of the plague of potentially chemically-caused bee deaths of recent years. Bioartist Simon Park–the guy behind this smartphone bacteria art–created Bee-Jewelled, the clumsily named but wonderfully executed piece, by dousing the insect carcasses in copper sulfate, which forms crystals as it cools.

The work is in direct response to bee deaths. “Having learned that the apocalyptic die off of bees was due to their ability to accumulate environmental toxins and how this weakened them and made them more susceptible to disease,” he told Wired.co.uk, “concentrating chemicals onto their dead bodies and turning them into crystals seemed to me to be the perfect way of highlighting their plight.”