Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bee Happy: A Workshop for Children

When I created the character of Madame Beespeaker, this is the kind of event I dreamed of: neighbourhood folks getting together to make art celebrating bees. The event was organized by my friend Bear, who is a wonderful artist and art educator. We are so lucky to have her living in our neighborhood.

Children made messages for the bees to take home and/or to put in the mailbox for the bees that Bear created for her new bee garden. She happened to have some of this old library ephemera which we recycled.

I love this posture of absolute concentration!

Bear's bee garden is planted with different kinds of lavender, salvia, and phacelia.

The children were given examples of images of different kinds of bees to use as inspiration.

My favorite message of the day was written by a serious little boy. It simply said "I like cheese."

Although it was cool for this time of the year, thankfully the rain held off and we were able to stay outdoors. (Click on the image above if you want to read the text.)

The great thing about having these bee gardens in pubic spaces is that the neighbors can see how the plants develop and how the kids can play safely around bees without worrying too much about being stung. We watched a bumble bee taking a nap on the salvia, and another bee foraging in the phacelia.

Bear set up a table for the kids to draw and paint garden markers with pictures of bees and the plants that are in the garden. Everyone was invited to make one to take home and one that would remain in the two bee gardens.

The older kids put on safety glasses and hammered in their own nails, but there were adults on hand to help the younger ones.

A trio of beautiful bees!

The plant name markers are great sources of information for people who want to grow bee plants in their own gardens.

The second bee garden is at the neighbor's house. She organized a honey tasting table which was very popular.

There was also a lemonade stand with proceeds donated to the MOP Garden. I was presented with twelve dollars and seventy five cents. Thanks guys!

Yay for neighbourhood small grants and the fantastic people who put them to good use to create community!

The event was funded by a small neighborhood grant.

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