Chester Zoo BumblebeeAbode

CZ-workshop-day

Since September last year, Arbarus and I have been working on a commission for Chester Zoo‘s new Bumblebee Garden to create a home for Bumblebees.  Based around a used garden shed, the structure houses a number of Bumblebee boxes to provide a safe, dry environment for the bees to nest in.

The project kicked off last year on a sunny day in September with a drop-in workshop at the Zoo’s Wildlife Connections Festival.  We worked with Chester Zoo’s visitors creating lots of artwork to decorate the outside of the shed, whilst learning about the best flowers to plant in your garden to attract bumblebees.

Over the winter, Arbarus did lots of research into the right type of home for bumblebees, designed and built the shed and then we worked together to finish it, using all the artwork created at the festival to decorate it.  The shed was installed on a chilly January day, to give it time to bed in and for the brilliant horticulture team to create the shed’s green roof and plant up around it before the queen bumblebees start to emerge.  We aim to return soon to get some pictures of the shed with some green around it, instead of just some January mud!  Fingers crossed that some bumblebees will have moved in too…

STOP PRESS!  Whilst we await with bated breath for good news from Chester Zoo, Arbarus has had success with his own bumblebee boxes.  Two of the homes are now occupied by queen bees and there is a quiet satisfaction in watching them go in and out of their nests…

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