Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hobo Bees

Today in class we made seed balls for bee habitat. We played a seed matching game, and then I talked about the symbolic language of hobos. I suggested we create a symbolic language for bees to signal danger or positive habitat for bees. (Both hobos and bees depend on "the kindness of strangers" to provide them with nutritious meals.) The students made signs to warn the bees of the danger of wasp nests, bears, pesticides, loud noises, unclean water, and traffic. They also made signs for clean air, clean water, hollow trees for shelter, and good pollen and nectar sources. We will eventually be making these marks on the sidewalks in the neighborhood as we evaluate sites from a bee's point of view.

After making the symbols we separated the seeds from the chaff of the corn flower and calendula heads that I gathered (with permission) last fall from UBC Farm. I talked bout how much I love the sculptural and textural qualities of seeds and I hoped the students would fall in love with seeds the way I have. Other seeds in our seed ball mix include Brown-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia), sunflower seeds, snap dragons, violets, candy tuft, crimson clover, holly hock, poppy seeds, and phacelia.

Next, I did a raw cooking show, demonstrating the recipe for seed balls which are made with red clay powder, potting soil, and seeds. The students mucked in and made seed balls which we placed in egg cartons on the windowsill to dry for at least three days. Hopefully the sun will come out again to help this along. We will soon be planting these seed balls in top secret locations in the neighbourhood.

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