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Tell it to the Bees, a look back

Tell it to the Bees closed at the end of October. As well as relevant objects ranging from beeswax to beer, this exhibition also included interactive spaces, encouraging visitors to respond directly to questions and suggestions, either by posting these into a papier-mâché beehive or tying them to a honeycomb board.

After taking down the exhibition, I decided to look through these and was unable to bee-lieve how lovely the responses were!

“Make a promise today to help Britain’s bees. Pin your promise to our board and start making a difference.”

Over one hundred visitors made pledges to the bees. These often related to flowers and plants, with many, many respondents promising to plant a bee garden, stop picking wildflowers, and to avoid accidentally damaging those growing around them (“I promise to make sure my brother doesn’t kick the football at the flowers!”).

Several respondents remarked that they would try to “bee kind”, promising to no longer spray, swat or step on bees, with these getting far more sentimental than we could have anticipated (“I’m going to treat every bee like a queen”). Unsurprisingly, many promises also pertained to eating more locally sourced honey to support Suffolk’s bee-keepers (“I will eat fresh honey even though I don’t like it.”)

Did you make a promise to bee different and help the bees? Have you kept that promise?

“Tell your news to the bees and see if they bring you good luck. Write it on a piece of honeycomb and put it into our beehive.”

Within the beehive were a swarm of statements written by visitors which related to the events going on in their lives.

These ranged from the excited (“My friend’s mum is having a baby!” and “We are going to get horses!”) to the proud (“I got my 800 meters in swimming”) to the anxious (“I am moving into year one and I am very scared”).

Some of these responses were, interestingly, phrased as wishes, with visitors hoping that they would be granted the bee’s good luck. Some of these were poignant (“I wish for my funny granddad to come back alive”), but there were – of course – those who came up with responses which were a little more bumbling (“Dear bees, please can I have lots of good luck and pocket money?”)! Unfortunately, however, it seems that even in folklore, wishes are a little bit bee-yond the capability of a humble bumblebee.

What news would you tell to the bees?

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