Beelore seed packets on display at a festival, Scotland 2015

Summer Reading Challenge: Bee Detectives

In the summer of 2017, we had a wonderful couple of days working with York and Acomb Explore to deliver ‘Bee Detective’ themed workshops to a number of enthusiastic aspiring Sherlock Holmes’.

reading 1.jpg

The detectives using their devices to help them see like a bee

These workshops began with an icebreaker, which involved saying a fact about yourself before throwing a ball of wool to another person, ending with a spider web to show how we are all connected – I also discovered how difficult it is to throw and catch a ball of wool! Our workshops included assembling a device which can allow you to see like a bee through their compound eyes, to replicate how bees see movement. This involved cutting a handful of straws into thirds, then stringing them together using an elastic band.

Once the members of the workshop had a good feel for how a bee views the world, we moved on to our next activity – making origami flowers. However, there was actually a unique twist to these origami flowers. We used special pens to create secret patterns within the flower which can only be revealed through UV light!

reading 2.jpg

readong 3.jpg

The UV Flowers

Some groups were so quick at making the origami flowers that it gave us time to make some candles out of beeswax – which involved rolling a wick tightly into the wax, then using the warmth of our hands to mould the wax into a candle shape.

reading 4.jpg

The flowers on display

reading 6.jpg

A beeswax candle

After an exhaustingly busy time making origami flowers and fashioning candles out of beeswax, the tired ‘Bee Detectives’ sat down to listen to a story about a very busy bee who accidentally loses her hive. Through this story, the detectives learnt about the ‘waggle dance,’ a method which bees use to communicate with other bees, and tell them where there are flowers to pollinate.

Overall, we had a very good turn out, and we’d like to thank all the inquisitive ‘Bee Detectives’ who attended our workshops. We hope you enjoyed yourselves!