Portraits of Bodies Encased in Honey

Blake Little’s series of photographs presented here combine the old and the new in a bold way. His vivid images startle the viewer. They freeze the human form, preserving it not in proverbial amber, but rather – and unexpectedly – in honey, another natural substance millions of years old. (For honey bees date back some 25-50 million years, preserved in the fossil record of the Eocene–Oligocene boundary.) Just when and where humans first braved the sharp sting of bees to steal their honey we do not know. Cave paintings in Spain depict human honey-gatherers, and from the time of the Egyptian pyramids, about 2575–2150 BC, what scientists now call the “honey-bearing” bee (Apis mellifera) appears to have been domesticated.