GERMAN artist Sybille Neumeyer has won the 2014 Aesthetica Art Prize in York with her installation Song For The Last Queen, a lament to the endangerment of bees.

Her work was the hot favourite to win, having already graced the exhibition poster and guide cover. "But I didn't do this piece to win a prize," said Sybille at the exhibition launch and prize ceremony at York St Mary's, Castlegate.

"I was excited to be chosen as one of the eight finalists and I feel honoured that my work is on the poster and guide because that means it's reaching more people. It's important not only for an artist to have a message but to have ways of reaching people with that message."

Sybille, a travelling artist and designer, worked with beekeepers in the United States, Japan and Germany to research the problem of dying bee colonies when they play such a vital role in maintaining the eco system.

"I collected honeycomb, wax and dead bees from a collapsed beehive, examining each, both as evidence and as a significant and extraordinary material," she said.

"Creating a muted preparation of a perished bee colony in honey, I ask questions about scientific practice, future perspectives and our responsibility to our environment."

The Aesthetica Art Prize is run jointly by Aesthetica, the international arts and culture magazine edited and published in York, and York Museums Trusts.

The prize exhibition will be on show until June 22, featuring pieces by Neumeyer, Ines Molina Navea, Elke Finkenauer, Deb Covell, Ingrid Hu, Julia Weissenberg, Amedeo Abello & Federico Morando, and Londoner Harriet Lewars, whose 3D sculpture, Frustrum Super Planum Cum Filia Lyrae, won the student prize.

"That title means it's a truncated cone with some strings on," said the London Metropolitan University graduate, whose work contributed to her gaining a First in her Fine Art degree last summer.

​Video: Chris Parker