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What's new at the Museum

2 Posts tagged with the bumblebees tag
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A week ago last Friday, we had S'Warm, the National Youth Theatre's mass spectacle, outside in the Museum grounds. The 100s of S'warmers highlighted the plight of the world's honeybees in a dramatic swarming performance, and drew attention to the environmental challenges facing us all as the planet warms up.

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'It was an atmospheric, hypnotic and moving event, beautifully choreographed,' said Laura Harmour our event co-ordinator, recalling the intriguing, surreal sight as S'Warmers descended on our East Lawn for the first part of the performance and gave out sticks of wildflower seeds to visitors.

 

After handing out wildflower seed sticks, the theatre cast moved off in a very, very long line across the Museum car park and over to the main front lawn, where the full contingent of nearly 400 young people completed the main performance of poetry reading, movement and accompanying music. The Wildlife Garden also featured in the drama.


'It  was a real challenge for the National Youth Theatre organisers to get the S'Warmers here as they all came by public transport - in full costumes of paper beekeeper outfits, complete with eerie-looking veils.' said Laura.

 

Our event on 20 August was part of S'warm's week of events across London. Some of the other famous landmarks they swarmed at included the Bank of England and MI6. Find out more about S'warm

 

Enjoy these photos if you missed the performance here. (They remind me of a particularly weird Doctor Who episode.) Click on the images to enlarge them.

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Bee movie

Posted by Rose Aug 12, 2010
Get a glimpse of our thriving bee colony inside the Wildlife Garden's bee tree in our latest video on the Natural History Museum's YouTube space.honeycomb-up-close2.jpg
In the bee tree video, join Museum beekeeper Luke Dixon as he strolls through the Wildlife Garden and looks inside the bee tree's observation hive to marvel at the colony and its wild honeycomb.

Watch the Wildlife Garden's bee tree video on YouTube

 

Luke reminds us how much we need bees and how important it is to encourage them, especially since the drastic decline in our worldwide bee population.bee-tree-tall.jpg

 

We've been keeping bees here in the Wildlife Garden for about 6 or 7 years and in the height of the summer months our bee colony can be 50,000 strong. Once a bee emerges from its cell it can live between 3 to 6 months depending on the time of year and food available.

 

This summer the bees living in the bee tree, pictured here earlier in June, have had a very successful season and have since extended the honeycomb to the very bottom of the hive.

 

You can also catch up on the bee tree colony's daily progress with our online beecam.

 

As the days get longer they're beginning to settle down for the winter. The male bees, the drones, are being kicked out of the hive and the number of workers is reducing dramatically as the queen stops laying eggs for new offspring.


The honey that the bees have made is their winter stores, to feed on in the long, cold months when there is nothing to forage on outside of the hive. I wonder if there'll be any spare for us?

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Read the earlier bee tree blog.

 

Find out more about the Museum's honeybee species, Apis mellifera.

 

 

Click on the images to enlarge them.