La bicyclette à la selle d’abeilles. This photograph of a swarm of bees covering a bicycle seat was sent to André Breton by Meret Oppenheim (and published in Médium: communication surréaliste, no. 3, mai 1954).
The source for this image might have been a ‘faits divers’ article about a swarm of bees settling on a bicycle parked in front of a confectionery store in Whittier, California, published in Popular Mechanics Magazine in September 1915.
… For more than two hours the insects succeeded in turning shoppers to the opposite side of the street and crowding vehicular traffic well into the middle of the pavement. Oddly enough, the bees in settling chose the seat of the cycle as a clustering place and piled themselves nearly a half foot deep upon it, also thickly covering part of the frame and rear wheel. Subsequently a hive was procured and the bees transferred into it by a policeman.
Will this become a familiar sight, as an unprecedented beekeeping hype is spreading to cities all over the world?
See for example this recent BBC News article on Paris as the new beekeeping capital of the world.