Beelore seed packets on display at a festival, Scotland 2015

Summer Reading Challenge: Bee Detectives

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

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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!