: Honeybee Standard Brain [March, 2022]

Honeybee Standard Brain. In Parts. 3D-printed in wood / PLA and hand painted.

[Honeybee Standard Brain. In parts. 3D-printed in wood / PLA and hand-painted.]

Honeybee Standard Brain is an ongoing investigation into the honeybee brain and its similarities and differences to the human brain.

The honeybee brain is smaller than one cubic millimeters and has about one million neurons. The human brain, in comparison, has almost one hundred thousand times more neurons and is more than one million times larger. But despite its minuscule brain size the honeybee exhibits complex and rich individual and social behaviour, in many ways similar to humans.

The 3D-printed model pictured above is a physical representation of the “Honeybee Standard Brain” (HSB), a digital model assembled by the Menzel Neurobiology group at Frie Universität Berlin from images of bee brains taken with confocal microscope. The scientists model serves as a tool for comparing shapes and structures of the bee brain and relating the brain to functional properties. The representation of the model presented here is, as an artwork, also intended as an open-ended entry point into questions around cognition and consciousness in humans and nonhumans.

The items in the photo above are all the major parts of the honey bee brain included in the HSB 3D-model. However, they have been separated from each other and placed on a flat surface. They are not placed corresponding to how they are actually arranged and connected in 3D-space. Arranged in this way the parts can be seen as pieces of a puzzle.