Artist Cindee Klement Builds Buzz for Native Bees

When Cindee Klement learned that public concern for honey bees had pushed native bee species to the background, the Houston artist got creative

  • By Jennifer Wehunt // Art by Cindee Klement
  • Footprint
  • Sep 27, 2023

THE HOUSTON-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL ARTIST Cindee Klement was about a year into her pollinator obsession when she found out she might be worrying about the wrong bee. “I thought, ‘What does that mean, the wrong bee?’” she says. Klement went digging and learned that public concern for honey bees had shoved native bee species to the background. To spotlight the predicament, she began creating larger-than-life portraits of lesser-celebrated bees: 45 watercolor monoprints so far, 30 by 44 inches each, including the mason bee (Osmia texana), above. When a friend visited her studio and commented on Klement’s “monocrop of bees,” the artist evolved again. “Horrors!” she recalls thinking. “A monocrop doesn’t support my beliefs. I have to fix that.” She has since added other creatures—moths, tree frogs—to the mix: “They fit in just fine.” Klement calls the series “Rumblings,” because “in nature we get rumblings as warnings, like thunder,” she says. “When a species goes on the endangered list, that should be a warning to us.” See more photos in the slideshow below.

Get Involved

Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

Learn More
Regional Centers and Affiliates