I’m late in posting this, but it’s too good to pass up – our friend Troels Folmann sends us his latest sound design experiment, this time with bees.

Better audio:
Bees by Tonehammer


  • 200-230 wing flaps per second (hence the tone)
  • Top speed: 15 mph.
  • Compound eyes with thousands of tiny lenses plus simple eyes.
  • A life form with 20,000 known species, on which human life depends
  • Availability: with our protection, a long, long time. Without, we’re toast.

There’s also a free bee sample set for use with Kontakt or (via WAV) any other tool. [Download link, .rar ]

We’d love to hear music you make with those samples. If you compose something, send them to us in comments!

Lots of additional info:
Music Made with Bees [tonehammer]

Bee populations are in decline, which is a deep concern. Happily, at least one culprit has been ruled out: research suggests mobile phones are not to blame after all.

The New York Times has a good recent article on bees, why they’re so important to human life and agriculture, the disturbing rapid decline in their population, and a breakthrough that’s occurred in the last week. The news isn’t good: colony collapse, and it may be linked to a combination fungus/virus. Hopefully this new evidence will lead to a solution.
Trouble in the Hive, by Kirk Johnson for the NY Times

You can support bee research here: http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/

(In this case, surprisingly, academia teamed up with the US Army chemical and biological research group. It’s nice to see a non-destructive military application of chemicals and biology.)

The connection to sound, though, is clear to me: just as photographs or video can help us get closer to subjects that matter, so can sound and music. They’re another way of experiencing our world. So send in that bee music.