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Don’t miss this mashup

Science and art, clearly the coolest of the disciplines, are most cool when they collide.

We can think of no better science-art mashup than a current exhibition at the Suffolk Art Gallery, 118 Bosley Ave.

The Nansemond Beekeepers Association is exhibiting the entries for its sixth annual Painted Hive Box Contest there through May 25. From there, they will go to White’s Nursery and Garden Center in Chesapeake through June 8, and then to Hampton Roads Wholesalers Inc. in Newport News through June 28.

The boxes will be displayed June 29 at the Smithfield Farmers’ Market, where award winners will be announced at noon.

The contest was open to all ages and skill levels, including elementary through high school students as well as adults both amateur and professional.

Many of the boxes, predictably, feature a honeybee or nature theme, but there are also musically inclined boxes, patriotic boxes, castle boxes, boxes featuring ocean waves, abstract art and even one featuring Asian motifs.

Following the exhibition throughout Hampton Roads, the painted hive boxes will be sold through a silent auction that will conclude July 19 at the Eastern Apiculture Society Conference. Proceeds from the box sales will be donated to educational institutions and individuals for honeybee research.

Honeybees are one of God’s most amazing and important creatures. Without the humble, buzzing bees, the plants that grow our food and many other necessities of daily life would not survive. Their survival is threatened by a number of factors both natural and manmade, and their plight needs to be better known so that all humans can aid in their recovery.

This contest is a fun way to introduce the importance of saving honeybees to a broader audience through the use of woodcraft and art. While the bees may not be able to fully appreciate humans’ ideas of suitable exterior colors for their homes, we think it’s a great way to combine science and art.

If you can, get on by and vote for the People’s Choice Award. This is one mashup not to be missed.