Beesworld is a program inspired by watching the behaviour of bees gathering nectar. Initially it was developed as a way of teaching students about the use of the Object Oriented Paradigm in the behavioural approach to crowd simulation. Bell wanted to avoid using a model based on the predator-prey behaviour explored in his 'Smallworld' work. Remembering a project by one of his past students he chose to look at the behaviour of bees.

The concept led Bell to spend some time studying the flight behaviour of bees by videoing them as they gathered nectar in his garden. The Beesworld program does not however attempt to simulate these flight patterns. He is interested not in an accurate representation but an evocation of the decisions that the bees are making.

beesworld installation

Beesworld was exhibited at the Study Gallery in Poole in 2008 as part of a group exhibition called 'The Salon'. Visitors to the exhibit were able to interact with programmed computer graphic 'agents' which would generate images by leaving trails as they moved to gather 'nectar' whilst avoiding other 'bees'. The sources of nectar being 'flowers' that the were 'planted' by the participants.

A version of the program could be downloaded from Bell's mapping behaviour website and would run on Mac computers running OSX. It was developed on a MacBookPro.

exhibition review at transjuice