The Bee Appreciation Society AGM is a free exhibition running at the Cottleston Gallery, Greerton, in Tauranga. The exhibition of more than 50 original portraits painted from photographs is an attempt to create a place where people meet in appreciation for our pollinators and consider their relationship with these animals. The portraits feature the subject with an object or theme illustrating their connection, each one taking the artist, Katherine Steed, around twenty hours to complete. For $100 the subject retains the original and the exhibition has a copy. Kate hopes over time to amass a ‘swarm’ of portraits, and ultimately to tour with the installation around New Zealand’s main centres. People have come to see the portraits as a sort of ‘membership’ certificate that reveal their support for the Society and their affection for bees, not just honey bees but all the forgotten ‘wild’ species too. Katherine works as a scientific illustrator, with a particular interest in entomology. In the last four or five years she has come to spend more time on bees, wondering about our place in their world, their symbolism and importance to us, and the concerns about the decline in variety and abundance we all hear about. The show has been well received and she currently has a backlog of commissioned portraits to complete, but needs many more for her ‘swarm’. The Gallery is open from 11:00 to 4:30pm, Tuesday to Sunday, and the show began in February and runs until the 19th of March.