Monster Bees

  • Mike McCurry
  • 06/21/18
In the 1954 horror film Them, the world was being threatened by giant insects that had mutated during the early atomic desert tests. The first scene of the movie begins with a girl wandering through the desert, apparently in shock from the horror she just witnessed. When she is finally revived from her unresponsive stupor, she screams, “Them them!”
If you hadn’t yet noticed, something giant has come on our “scene” in Clarendon Hills. The mega-bees have descended on our town, and planted themselves for display. But unlike the horror movie I saw as a child, these bees are beautiful and harmless. These giant creatures are part of a “Bees on Parade” public art event introduced by the Clarendon Hills Park Foundation.
Each fiberglass sculpture is 28 inches wide and 36 inches tall, and has been painted by local residents or organizations in our community. There are 13 bees in all, with each having a different theme.
Five of the sculptures were painted by our schools: Walker Elementary School, Prospect Elementary School, Seton Montessori School, Clarendon Hills Middle School and Hinsdale Central High School. Our library also painted a beautiful bee showing children celebrating the love of reading, and this one is on display out in front of the building. Even our seniors at The Birches community painted a pair of sculptures.
A map of the locations online shows there are eight bees displayed around the downtown businesses and municipal buildings, and the remaining ones are strategically located by the pool, on Holmes Ave., on north Prospect Ave. and on Norfolk Ave. by Notre Dame.
We all know that bees have a purpose in transferring pollen and seeds from one flower to another, and fertilizing the plant so it can grow and produce food. But what is the reason behind these giant invaders coming to Clarendon Hills?
I recently spoke with John Steeves, president of the park foundation, who told me that this project reintroduces the foundation’s purpose to our community, which is to enhance the quality of life by enhancing the active and passive areas in our parks. It also brings an interesting concept to our village, while promoting the Richmond Education Gardens and Apiary.
The bees are currently being sold through silent auction on the park foundation’s Web site, and according to Steeves, seven of the 13 are already sold. One will be saved for live auction at the park district’s fall festival on Sept. 15.
As we’re coming off of a great weekend at Daisy Days and the Daisy Dash, many people I ran while serving at the beer tent or at my booth said that they love our small town, because of community events like these.
The Bees on Parade is just another example of how the community connects with each other, young and old. Take a stroll around town, and enjoy these mammoth bees while they are here for the summer.
At the Dancin’ in the Street concert Wednesday night (6/20), I thought I saw and heard several small children pointing at the bees, saying, “Them them!”

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