Initially inspired by a somewhat willful misreading of a project published by the CCA in Montréal under the title "Bees Make Concrete Honey," we've imagined and illustrated a series of science-fictional scenarios in which a new bee species, called Apis caementicium—cement bees—could be deployed throughout the city to repair statues and fix architectural ornament, and even to produce whole, free-standing structures, such as cathedrals.
The bees would be given an initial form to work within. Then, buzzing away inside this mold or cast, and additively depositing the ingredients for bio-concrete on the walls, frames, or structures they're attached to, the bees could 3D-print new architectural forms into existence.This includes, for example, in the image below, the iconic stone lions outside the New York Public Library, damaged by exposure and human contact, but now fixed from within by concrete bees. You could think this as a kind of organic caulking. But, of course, tidy plots such as these invariably spin out of control and things don't go as planned.
Tiny fragments of concrete can soon be seen on plants and door frames, beneath cars and on chain-link fences, coiling up and consuming the sides of structures where they were never meant to be, like kudzu; and, of course, strange bee bodies are found now and again, little concrete-laden corpses lying in the grass of backyards, in parking lots, and on rooftops.