Hacking the Bees

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Theatre Film and TV

Abstract

Hacking the Bees is a 12-month follow-on project that builds on Telling the Bees, engaging with new audiences, bringing drama, design, storytelling and the maker (or hacker) movement together to explore playful, immersive ways to understand global environmental issues and share future visions about bees and beekeeping.

Telling the Bees was a multi-institution, interdisciplinary AHRC Connected Communities funded project that examined the rich folklore, traditions and contemporary practices of beekeeping. Working with beekeepers, primary schools, storytellers, artists, designers, scientists, interested members of the general public, and community partner Tay Landscape Partnership (TayLP), it aimed to codesign 'Future Folklore' by repackaging scientific and environmental knowledge in new artefactual and narrative formats. The project was highly participatory, using knowledge of the past to gain new perspectives on the present and future of bees and beekeeping, and exploring the roles that making and storytelling can play in bringing groups together to generate and foster ideas. Outputs from the project included decorated wooden beehive boxes containing schoolchildren's imaginative and informative bee stories, and the Beespoon - a small copper spoon, 1/12th the size of a teaspoon, representing the amount of a honey a single honey bee can produce in her lifetime.

Hacking the Bees forms new partnerships with Growtheatre, a Sheffield-based community interest company dedicated to theatre inspired by the environment and landscape, and Explore York, a mutual benefit society that runs 17 libraries, learning centres and reading cafes in York. The project scales upwards and outwards from Telling the Bees, and responds to a series of needs and opportunities arising from the Telling the Bees workshops and events, and conversations with our Community Co-Investigators. Hacking the Bees builds upon the 'making as a way of thinking' approach of Telling the Bees by running a series of drama, making and storytelling workshops in primary schools in one of the most deprived parts of Sheffield. We will curate a week-long festival of bee-related workshops, artistic interventions and events at Explore York's venues, and the team will take the project to a number of national events and festivals. We will also redesign the Telling the Bees Beespoon installation as a kit that can be used by community groups, charities and educators; and we will explore new possibilities for turning the Beespoon into a commercial product, while investigating the logistical and ethical considerations inherent in such an enterprise.

Hacking the Bees connects with and addresses some of the findings and recommendations of the AHRC's Creating Living Knowledge Report (CLKR), which describes the challenges, methods and benefits of universities and communities working together. Most notably, the project is designed to foster collaborations and produce legacies that extend beyond the project's costed timeframe; there is no rigid distinction within the project between research and participatory engagement activities; and the project aims to build skills and experience in collaborative working amongst the project team, its staff and community-based participants.

Ultimately, Hacking the Bees will harness the power of making and imagination as a way to foster lifelong learning and provoke new conversations on the significance of the honey bee to the environment and society.

Planned Impact

The impacts from this follow-on project are expected to be numerous and diverse, but we envisage the main beneficiaries will include:
- Teachers, pupils and communities around Manor Lodge and Wybourn Community Primary Schools, Sheffield
- Communities served by Explore York's libraries, archives and engagement programmes
- The wider public attending national events where we have a presence
- Community groups and organisations that take part in the mobile Beespoon pilot
- Individuals, institutions, third sector and commercial sector organisations interested in commercialising co-produced arts and humanities research outputs

Impacts and benefits can be divided into 4 main strands:

1. Skills and Embodied Legacies
The project will benefit participants at our workshops and events. Conscious of the propensity for university projects to replicate and widen inequalities, the project is specifically focused on more deprived areas. Our work with primary schools will respond to their priorities for embedded outdoor learning, improving reading and verbal skills, and identifying and supporting independent learners. Long term, the project aims to raise confidence and aspirations amongst the pupils, and provide resources and techniques which can be used by the teachers and Community Co-I Rachel Newman (Growtheatre) in future years. In York, our festival programme of workshops, events and activities will respond to needs outlined by Community Co-I Dave Fleming (Explore York), including reducing digital exclusion, providing opportunities for intergenerational learning, and developing audiences in deprived areas by supporting their arts and making-based outreach programmes.

2. Knowledge and Cultural Enrichment
The project will benefit people that attend our York festival and other public engagement events by developing awareness of the importance of bees and beekeeping for pollination, food security, environmental sustainability, as well as the benefits of keeping bees and promoting bee-friendly habitats. Our outputs are anticipated to be highly interactive, imaginative and artistic, providing culturally enriching experiences for audiences.

3. Extending Reach, Supporting 3rd Party Engagement
The project will benefit organisations involved in our pilot to repurpose the Beespoon installation as a mobile educational kit. These are anticipated to be 3rd sector, community and educational groups, such as local beekeeping associations, environment-focussed charities and educators. We will evaluate the success of our workshops in primary schools, assessing feasibility for wider adoption. These activities will significantly extend the reach of the project and could provide a long-term legacy well beyond the funded timeframe.

4. Sustaining Legacies
The project will benefit the AHRC and other funders, universities, 3rd sector organisations and commercial companies by exploring and reporting on the potential, methods and ethical concerns associated with commercialising community co-produced A&H research outputs. Our project worker and student intern will gain experience of participatory community work, supporting their studies, and increasing employability and their prospects for future collaborative research. There is potential to not only secure a self-sustaining legacy from the Telling the Bees and Hacking the Bees outputs, but to support and inform similar enterprises undertaken in future projects.

A co-produced Legacy Strategy document will set out aspirations, pathways, milestones and review dates for assessing and developing impacts and legacies. We will measure and evaluate impact using questionnaires, vox pops and brief semi-structured interviews, but we will also experiment with creative ways of tracking outputs (e.g. Beespoon kits) and documenting responses. This might include co-produced films and, reflecting our 'making as a way of thinking' approach, paper, digital, and artefact-based data gathering techniques.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Bee Buddy Beespoon 
Description We made a bespoke Beespoon for Bee Buddies (education charity for bees) in Scotland. This Beespoon is made of wood and is polished with Beeswax. It can be used in the same way as the original Beespoon but it can also be used for a game to do with pollination. Wooden shapes representing pollen are collected from flowers by children. They are placed in a 'pollen store'. The pollen is weighed and drops of honey are dispensed. This version was designed in collaboration with Bee Buddies to respond to their focus on pollination. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact This artefact has recently been completed and so there are no impacts resulting from its use at the moment. However, we have worked with Bee Buddies throughout the design process and so have evolved our understanding of how Beespoon's might be deployed and the various contexts of use that they can be situated in. 
URL http://www.beebuddies.org/
 
Title Beespoon for London Design Show 
Description We created a Beespoon for exhibition at the London Design Fair, which will be donated to Scottish Beekeepers. The Beespoon Kit that was designed for loan is still being used by Beekeeping groups. Some groups have said they are willing and able to contribute to transport costs. We are trying to find additional funding to support smaller groups. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This extra Beespoon was used at the London Design Fair 2018 (see Engagement Activities), where over 30,000 visited the overall fair over 4 days. The implication of this extra Beespoon is that we can now increase the number of bookings for our Beespoons and have one touring England and the other touring Scotland (the current and previous foci of our engagement activities and collaborations). 
 
Title Design Fictions (schools) 
Description As part of the schools strand of the project, Year 5 pupils at Manor Lodge and Wybourn Community Primary Schools in Sheffield used 3D design software to a) produce 3D printed models of their futuristic design fictions for saving bees or living in a world without them; and b) flowers and pollen that might be specially adapted to support bees. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact To date the artefacts have been used at part of a schools day at York. Future plans include exploring the potential of the artefacts at York Literature Festival, and at the upcoming BBKA Spring Convention. 
 
Title Design Fictions Exhibition case 
Description The project developed an interactive exhibition wooden display cabinet to house 3D printed design fiction artefacts created from working with schoolchildren. The case includes an NFC reader and screen to intuitively play short videos associated with each 3D printed object. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact To date the exhibition case has been used once at a schools day in York to showcase children's work. Future plans will be to showcase the exhibition in other venues and events. 
 
Title PolliNation 
Description The project part-funded PolliNation, a community arts project in York led by artist Claire Douglas from York Learning (York City Council) to run over 10 free workshops during summer 2017, where local art classes, residential care homes, special needs schools, and members of the public used watercolour pencils to draw images of microscopic pollen on small wooden hexagons. Over the course of these workshops, over 470 hexagons were produced, which were then exhibited in York Explore Main Library for 2 months. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact This product enabled considerable community engagement across York, and also promoted the wider project through its installation (with supporting documentation) in the main library in York. 
 
Title PolliNation Exhibition - 2019 
Description The PolliNation project output, an exhibition of over 470 community produced hexagons, was exhibited again in 2019 at City Screen cinema, York, from February 8th - March 6th 2019. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact None yet. 
URL http://www.donnamariataylor.com/new-blog/2019/2/8/pollination-is-back
 
Title Short Films 
Description Project intern Amy Cornforth (undergraduate on Film and Television Production BSc, University of York) created short videos for the project. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The videos are available online (two films yet to be signed off) and will be used at subsequent events (e.g. conferences, invited talks) to explain the project. 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJZIa8czK24
 
Title The Beespoon Mk. II 
Description We developed a second iteration of the Beespoon, to be used as a 'Touring Beespoon' that could be borrowed by Beekeeping Groups and other organisations for interpretation events and festivals. We learnt from the earlier design and made adaptations to the Beespoon installation to make it more robust and intuitive to setup and use. We added different power supplies for different locations and added controls to adjust the flow of honey, to account for different weather conditions, and we redesigned the flower backdrop. We are developing the documentation and travel pack for the beespoon for testing. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The new and improved Beespoon has been used at several of our local and national public engagement events. As with the original Beespoon, it has worked well as an engaging and thought provoking installation that challenges people's perceptions and awareness of the role of honeybees and pollinators. 
 
Title The Interactive Hive 
Description The Interactive Hive is a small bee hive (cedar nucleus box) that contains 5 frames, one of which is a traditional beehive frame containing bees wax cells. The other 4 frames contain computer tablets that, when lifted out of the hive box, automatically play videos showing a hive inspection and a frame of bees. The artefact is accompanied by a set of interpretation cards. The Interactive Hive was created by YCCSA Summer School student (funded by University of York), supervised by Maxwell and collaborator Alison Dyke (Environment, University of York). The project supported the development of the Interactive Hive through funding the hardware and providing background information and context. The Interactive Hive represents a follow-on outcome from Telling the Bees. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The Interactive Hive has been taken to local schools and events (including the 2017 Manchester Science Fair). Local beekeepers have also expressed an interest in the artefact as a possible training tool. 
 
Title Yonder Honey 
Description Collaborator Julia Smith worked with Community Co-I Fleming and PI Maxwell to exhibit a photography exhibition (Julia Smith and Jim Poyner) on bees and pollination at York Explore's main library. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The photography exhibition formed part of a larger exhibition in York Explore's main library (with the PolliNation community arts project and product) as part of the Hacking the Bees project. This enabled a critical mass of project related creative material (i.e. present and future narratives about bees and pollination) being showcased, which ultimately increased the impact and awareness of visitors to the library. 
URL https://www.yonderhoney.co.uk/
 
Description It should be noted that this grant was a Follow on Funding for Research and Engagement rather than a research-focused grant. Nevertheless, our most significant achievements from the award have arisen from our collaboration with primary schools in Sheffield, which resulted in a set of Design Fiction prototypes that emerged from an intensive design process with children and staff (see creative products).

This collaboration used design fiction in a cross-curricular project with four classes across two primary schools in inner-city Sheffield. We combined elements of a Mantle of the Expert dramatic-inquiry approach with design thinking and design fiction to explore the world of the honey bee. We worked with the schools and children during half a term, leading them through a set of activities (including drama, design, creative writing, and 3D prototyping) to enable the children to discover and understand the threats facing bees, beekeeping, pollination, and the global environmental ramifications of a world without bees.

The project was well received by staff at both schools due to the high levels of student engagement and enthusiasm, as well as for the pride engendered in the production and exhibition of the final designs. Staff were impressed with the depth of knowledge and knowledge retention that resulted from the learner-centred, design-approach toward the topic.

We discovered that Design Fiction, used in conjunction with Mantle of the Expert, can be a useful approach for addressing complex issues, such as global environmental threats, because it provides opportunities for children to cast forward and imaginatively think through making, performing and discussing future settings, in ways that stimulate multiple senses and respond to the breadth of preferred learning styles in a class group. It can be challenging for children to think about futures and there can be a tendency to fixate on the final artefact as a finished product, rather than a starting point for thinking about the future. Drama can enhance critical and reflective thinking about design fiction artefacts, which supplements creative thinking about future worlds.

Specifically, our insights include the following:

1. School and teacher buy-in can influence project progression so significant preparation and planning is needed to ensure everyone understands the aims and is aware of the unfolding stages in the process. The project needs sufficient resource in terms of space, staffing and, most importantly time. Teaching and learning styles, learning outcomes and curriculum demands need to clarified at the outset to ensure a consistent approach, especially if the project is managed by multiple staff.

2. There are practical difficulties in realising truly diegetic design fiction prototypes, for example getting access to appropriate materials, having sufficient skill-levels to realise creations as envisioned, and class management challenges when children work with a plethora of materials. Material choices can significantly affect the believability of the fictions so we suggest that flexibility enables students to select the best materials to create a believable rendering of their design. Users should be aware of potential tensions because some material choices can expand imagination and creative potentials but present conflicts with curriculum objectives. In our case, it was desirable for students to learn to 3D print but it limited their creative outputs.

3. Design Fiction combined with performative elements can be used with little subject knowledge to create 'Freezes' (dramatic montage set around a design fiction) as a rapid process for generating questions about a new subject. However we suggest the Design Fiction method is most useful when integrated with other lead-in activities, in our case a visit to a public garden and beekeeper talks, because extending the knowledge base gives children more content to work with in building their fictions and consolidates cross-curricular skill acquisition and development.

In addition to the work with schools we deepened and enhanced our learning and experience of using tangible interactive installations, i.e. the Beespoon, with different audiences and organisations.

For instance, over a period of time working together as a research team and with others, we developed and adapted our offering and diversified our ways of sharing different information about bees and the environment, e.g. by using UV pens to draw on origami flowers to simulate the nectar guides found in nature. We also observed re-appropriation of our materials, for instance gardeners used the Beespoon in different ways from beekeepers, facilitating different conversations with different audiences. Finally, we learned more about how outputs need to be managed over time.

Critically however, these experiences enabled us to reflect and challenge our own working approaches and concepts, such as thinking-through-making, future folklore and using the past to speculate on the future. Our final Critical Friends project event provided a platform to explore these issues with our advisory group and project collaborators.
Exploitation Route The direct Artistic and Creative project outputs have been in almost continuous use. The various Beespoon versions that have been developed and refined in the project have been touring the UK at various events at local, regional and national levels.
Our work with primary schools has been reused in a further funding project (Grow Wild's Bee Friendly project) and the design fictions have been exhibited and displayed at various events too.
We anticipate that these resources (both resources developed for schools and the Beespoon and related artefacts) will be used and developed by other organisations including beekeeping associations. We are in discussions with the British Beekeeping Association regarding their future education plans.

In academic contexts, the design community and environmental humanities are primary audiences for the research findings and we are continuing to publish in these fields (including the upcoming EAD19 conference). Our engagement with other Connected Communities researchers suggests that our 'making as a way of thinking' approach, which highlights the role of creative, playful activities in fostering learning and knowledge exchange, can continue to be a particularly fruitful avenue for further research.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description This project is an impact and engagement follow on funding project and therefore most of the work and activities has focused on capitalising on outputs from the previous project "Telling the Bees" (see extensive Engagement section). However, we extended our work through two main strands: 1) working with schools and 2) developing our Beespoon installation. 1) We worked with two primary schools in Sheffield over a series of weeks using design thinking techniques and collaborating with local beekeepers and artists. We developed a set of worksheets for this work that have subsequently been used in an associated small project (led by community Co-I Rachel Newman) with secondary school children. We also developed and deepened our Research through Design (RtD) and future folklore approach by working with the primary school children to create design fictions around bees and the environment. These were rendered as 3D printed artefacts, giving the teachers and children an insight into the processes, techniques, and technologies associated with rapid prototyping. Furthermore, we conducted semistructured interviews with teachers from both schools after the teaching had completed, which revealed changes in attitude towards this type of engagement through 1) new understanding and confidence of the scope and scale of environmental topics to appeal and engage with children across gender divides; 2) new insight into positive engagement with university/academic collaborations (in comparison to previous experiences where academics 'satellited' in without understanding how to engage meaningfully with the schools); and 3) reaffirmation of the value in physical material to problem solve. A key tangible output from this strand is the Exhibition Hive (see Design Fictions Exhibition Case and Design Fictions in "Artistic & Creative Products" section), which contains the suite of 3D printed artefacts designed and created by the school children housed in a purpose built case that includes an embedded tablet screen and uses NFC tags to associate designs with supporting video explanations. This Exhibition Hive has been used at several events by the research team, including the BBKA Spring Convention, York Explore Library and York Literature Festival. Following the presentation at York Literature Festival several audience members were inspired by the design fictions to write creative responses to the work. These rich imaginings into future worlds were prompted at the event but the actual writing took place afterwards and were passed onto the research team by the event organiser. 2) Developing our Telling the Bees Beespoon We made three versions of the Beespoon after the initial prototype from the previous Telling the Bees project. As a result of these evolutions of the Beespoon, we have been able to greatly extend our reach of sharing educational knowledge and making through lending out the various Beespoons to organisations (see Engagement Activities). 1) One was made for an exhibition at the London Design Fair and will be donated to Scottish Beekeepers. 2) The Beespoon Kit that was designed for loan is still being used by Beekeeping groups. Some groups have said they are willing and able to contribute to transport costs. We are trying to find additional funding to support smaller groups for 2019 and beyond. 3) We made a bespoke Beespoon for Bee Buddies in Scotland. The Beespoon is made of wood and is polished with Beeswax. It can be used in the same way as the original Beespoon but it can also be used for a game to do with pollination. Wooden shapes representing pollen are collected from flowers by children. They are placed in a 'pollen store'. The pollen is weighed and drops of honey are dispensed. This version was designed in collaboration with Bee Buddies to respond to their focus on pollination. We have had substantial positive feedback from organisations who have used the Beespoon, including the following from the Worcestershire Group of Beekeepers: "[] Your help and advice allowed us to set up an attractive centre-piece - we were all impressed with the quality, appearance and operation of such an informative display. Particularly, our younger visitors were captivated with the visualisation of the work that our bees must complete to collect and process the honey. The beespoon was instrumental in provoking some very productive discussions around pollination and the scale of the work that a single bee completes in her relatively short lifetime. [] You helped us to convey such a wealth of information. Our success is evident by the number of enquiries about beekeeping, the literature that was taken away and the potential for new beekeepers to our groups (not to mention the fact that we are all feeling pleasantly exhausted)! We really do appreciate all that you have done. Please pass on our compliments to the wider team." Through these engagements the Beespoon and project information reached over an additional 3000 people. We also gathered feedback postcards with a limited degree of success. From these (which included options about what people might do after seeing the Beespoon) most people said they would buy local honey. Many said they would plant wild flowers and find out more about bees. Prompts about what visitors learned were dominated by 1) how much work to takes to make a beespoon of honey, 2) how to make origami flowers, and 3) learning what nectar guides are. Apart from these key two strands, we have also seen impacts of our work from our community collaborations. These include the building of the PolliNation exhibition (led by Community Co-I Dave Fleming and an output of the project) into new exhibition venues but also informing a subsequent community art project as part of the Bloom Festival in York 2018. This Bloom! exhibition was led by our collaborator Claire Douglas and used recycled materials to create flowers in a display outside the central York Explore library.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description Being Human Festival
Amount £1,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of London 
Department School of Advanced Study
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 12/2017
 
Description Connected Communities Catalyst Fund Award
Amount £2,976 (GBP)
Funding ID R202080CF5 
Organisation University of East Anglia 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 08/2018
 
Description Grow Wild Community Fund
Amount £2,000 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 07/2018
 
Description University of York Student Internship Bureau Subsidy
Amount £720 (GBP)
Organisation University of York 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 09/2017
 
Description York Cross-disciplinary Centre for Systems Analysis (YCCSA) Summer School Scholarship
Amount £2,340 (GBP)
Organisation University of York 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 09/2017
 
Description Alison Dyke 
Organisation Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution PI Maxwell collaborated with Alison Dyke (SEI, University of York) to co-supervise a summer school student. Maxwell provided knowledge and the project provided materials for the design interventions created.
Collaborator Contribution Alison provided support to the student through supervision and an opportunity to present the work at SEI and at a local school science club.
Impact Artistic & Creative Products: The Interactive Hive. The collaboration was multi-disciplinary spanning design and environmental sciences.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Bee Buddies 
Organisation Bee Buddies
PI Contribution Bee Buddies is a charity in Scotland dedicated to educating children about bees. After forming a relationship during Telling the Bees, the project team is working with Bee Buddies to produce a bespoke version of the Beespoon for use in their educational activities.
Collaborator Contribution Bee Buddies will be extending the reach and impact of the project by deploying their version of the Beespoon installation in their educational work.
Impact This partnership is ongoing. Future outcome will be the Bee Buddies Beespoon.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Clumber Park 
Organisation National Trust's Clumber Park
PI Contribution The project has provided innovative interactive installations and activities for Clumber Park's visitors at key events.
Collaborator Contribution The Gardens team at Clumber Park have supported the project in making space available for the schools launch event at the park. We have also used the partnership to present the Beespoon at several of Clumber's events, including Gloworm Festival and British Flowers Weekend.
Impact Clumber Park directly supported several of our Engagement activities. The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, spanning design, drama, narrative and horticulture/environment.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Explore York 
Organisation Explore York Libraries and Archives Mutual Ltd
PI Contribution Dave Fleming, Inclusive Arts and Media Coordinator, from Explore York is a Community Co-Investigator on the project. This enabled deep collaborative working, allowing us to bring the Sheffield schools to York and exhibit their work alongside the Yonder Honey photography exhibition, and integrated the project within many of Explore York's activities, including Hack Camps, the PolliNation community arts project, and the Summer Reading Challenge, reaching thousands of people.
Collaborator Contribution Explore York provided spaces, resources and staff time to deliver on some key project outcomes.
Impact Engagements include: Schools Trip York; PolliNation workshops; York Summer Reading Challenge; HackCamp; MuseHack. Artistic and Creative Products include: PolliNation and Yonder Honey exhibition.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Growtheatre 
Organisation GrowTheatre CIC
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Rachel Newman, co-founder and artistic director of Growtheatre, is a Community Co-Investigator on the project. Our partnership utilised Rachel's experience for delivering the schools activities and the performance-lecture for Being Human festival.
Collaborator Contribution Rachel led and delivered key activities in Strand 1 of the project, namely working with primary schools in Sheffield. Growtheatre also collaborated in reworking a performance piece for 2017 Being Human Festival.
Impact Engagement: Schools Workshops (Sheffield); Schools Trip (Clumber Park); Schools Trip (York); Being Human Telling the Bees Performance Lecture. Artistic & Creative Products: Design Fictions Exhibition case; Design Fictions (schools). Multi-disciplinary collaboration between drama, landscape archaeology, design, and education.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Manor Lodge and Wybourn Community Primary Schools 
Organisation Manor Lodge Primary School
PI Contribution A key strand of our project was working with two community primary schools in disadvantaged parts of Sheffield. We worked with the year 5 and executive teaching teams to deliver activities that both adhered to the project's aims and contributed to the children's learning.
Collaborator Contribution Both schools provided an open learning environment and direct support from teachers to deliver learning materials associated with the project.
Impact The Design Fiction artefacts (see Artistic and Creative Products section) are a direct output from this collaboration.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Manor Lodge and Wybourn Community Primary Schools 
Organisation Wybourn Community Primary School
PI Contribution A key strand of our project was working with two community primary schools in disadvantaged parts of Sheffield. We worked with the year 5 and executive teaching teams to deliver activities that both adhered to the project's aims and contributed to the children's learning.
Collaborator Contribution Both schools provided an open learning environment and direct support from teachers to deliver learning materials associated with the project.
Impact The Design Fiction artefacts (see Artistic and Creative Products section) are a direct output from this collaboration.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Rebecca Marsland 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hacking the Bees worked with Marsland to deliver an engaging and innovative installation at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, showcasing the Beespoon.
Collaborator Contribution Marsland provided the opportunity and travel support for 3 project team members to attend the science festival and therefore to expand our reach to an additional audience.
Impact This collaboration resulted in the project's participation in the Edinburgh International Science Festival (see Engagement section). This was an interdisciplinary collaboration spanning design and social anthropology.
Start Year 2017
 
Description York Learning 
Organisation York Learning
PI Contribution The project provided a context for the summer 2017 York Learning arts programme, and provided inspiration and knowledge about honeybees, flowers and pollination to support the learning experience.
Collaborator Contribution Claire Douglas (community artist) from York Learning coordinated and led the Pollination community arts project, which resulted in a large display of 470 coloured hexagons.
Impact This collaboration led to the PolliNation exhibition (see Artistic & Creative Products section) and the PolliNation Private Viewing (Engagement section) and PolliNation workshops (Engagement section). This was an interdisciplinary collaboration spanning art, community engagement, and design.
Start Year 2017
 
Description BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project team attended Countryfile Live, where the Beespoon and Interactive Hive were displayed within the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) tent. Approximately 26,000 people came through the tent, and we engaged with thousands of children and adults over the course of 4 very intense days. During the event, a visitor from the National Trust volunteer management team described the Beespoon as one of the best pieces of arts-science public engagement that she'd ever seen. Following the event, the BBKA expressed a wish for the Beespoon CAD files, so that they can produce their own version for regular use at their events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Bee:Late at the Museum of Science and Industry 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project team attended the Bee: Late museum late opening at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. This allowed the team to test our exhibits (the Beespoon and Interactive Hive) with an older audience. This proved a success, with approximately 300 adults clearly enjoying the learning and making activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Beespoon at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project team took the Telling the Bees Beespoon installation to Kew Gardens in August 2017 as part of their Insect Adventure Camp. Maxwell also delivered a short talk about the project at 'The Hive' art installation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Beespoon on Tour 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact One of the outcomes of the earlier Telling the Bees project was the realisation that the Beespoon was popular amongst Beekeepers and environmental organisations as a means of knowledge exchange with different age groups and that the Beespoon could be used in different ways to address different interests (eg gardening for bees, bee lives, pollination etc.). Consequently, we redesigned the Beespoon as a pack that could be borrowed by groups for events. The research team attended some of the events but at other times the Beespoon was sent out alone. In order for this to work, we needed to make develop the kit in such a way that it could be used by anyone and would survive transit to multiple locations. To this end we:
- Made the Beespoon structure more robust
- Changes wiring configurations to aid set up
- Made the design more intuitive (making visible only the parts that participant groups needed to use)
- Adding additional settings so the rate of honey drops could be changed
- Created step by step instructions for set up
- Created instructions for suggested use - including an exemplar narrative and themes and incorporated the use of UV pens and torches to show nectar guides
- Made video guides showing the Beespoon in use
- Made handouts for set up, use and pack up
- Created a google calendar to manage bookings.
- Laser-cut inserts for two flight cases (one for the Beespoon and one for materials) to aid set up and to minimise damage in transit.

If the research team was not attending the event or if the events were not local to the researcher's universities, the Beespoon was sent by courier to the group/event. Groups attempted to gather feedback from users of the Beespoon, but their ability to do this depended on numbers involved in managing the Beespoon.

Some bookings came as a result of our demonstration at the British Beekeepers Spring Convention. (Some of the large events which the researchers attended are addressed separately.) Others came from word of mouth from flyers. In 2018 the Beespoon events included:

Harrogate Show (3 days)
Launch of the bees hives at Lancaster University EcoHub (1 day)
Loch of the Lowes (2 days)
RHS Spring Festival at Malvern (2 days)
National Trust's Lyme Park (16 days)
The Fenland Fair (2 days)
East Lancs Woodland and Heritage Day (Offshoots Project) (1 day)
Twickenham and Thames Valley Honey Show (2 days)
Bedfordshire Honey Show (1 day)
It also included demonstration and discussion at the Critical Friends project event. (1 day)
The Derby High School (1 day)
(Days shown exclude set up and testing.)

The majority of events were for the general public, particularly families, though the EcoHub event was for students and university staff at Lancaster University and the Derby High School was a schools event.
The Harrogate Show, Lyme Park and the RHS Spring Festival attracted a regional audience.
The other events attracted a local audience.

Over 500 people attended the combined events.
The Beespoon has received repeat bookings from Twickenham and Thames Valley, Offshoots, Suffolk Show and bookings from new organisations such as the Lune Valley Beekeepers have been made for this year (2019).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Being Human Telling the Bees Performance-Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact After gaining funding from the Being Human Festival, we reworked the Telling the Bees Performance-Lecture (previously developed for the Festival of the Mind in Sheffield as part of the Telling the Bees project) for a new audience in York.

At the Telling the Bees Performance-Lecture, around 55 audience members, including a large number of children, were treated to an interactive learning experience that consisted of: Elements of a traditional lecture led by Pillatt, drama performances led by young people and professional actors from Growtheatre, origami flower making at our Beespoon installation, candle-rolling and a video observation hive supported by a representative from York & District Beekeepers' Association.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://beinghumanfestival.org/event/telling-the-bees/
 
Description British Beekeepers Association Spring Convention 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The project team attended the BBKA Spring Convention, where we demonstrated the Beespoon, Interactive Hive and Design Fiction Exhibition Hive. Responses from the audience (primarily beekeepers) were extremely positive, and as a result we received numerous bookings for the 'touring' Beespoon and invitations to appear at other BBKA events, notably RHS Chatsworth and Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description British Flowers Weekend (National Trust Clumber Park) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We took the Beespoon to Clumber Park for British Flowers Weekend, reaching several hundred visitors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Ecclesall Woods Spring Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the Telling the Bees team ran a series of bee-themed activities for children at the Ecclesall Woods Spring Festival in Sheffield. This built on our previous partnership with Grow Wild.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Edinbugh Evening Press 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article in local press (April 12, 2017) relating to the Edinburgh International Science Festival installation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Edinburgh International Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Working in collaboration with Rebecca Marsland's ESRC Beelines project, we took the Beespoon installation to Edinburgh International Science Festival 2017, where we formed part of a large bee-themed exhibit (Large Honeybee Collider) for 3 days in the 'Experimentarium' at Summerhall , reaching several thousand people during the Easter school holidays.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.san.ed.ac.uk/edcma/news/2017/large_honeybee_collider
 
Description Gloworm Festival, Clumber Park 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project team took the Telling the Bees Beespoon to Gloworm Festival at Clumber Park, which was attended by around 1200 people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hack Camp, York 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Inventive young digital explorers let their imaginations run riot, blending tech with a bid to save the bees, at this one-day family event.
Members of the ongoing Muse Hack project showed off their skills to parents, while novices got their hands on arduinos, breadboards, coding, CAD software, the 3D printer, music sampling and other digital and traditional arts and craft resources.
Techies, coders, digital makers and artists, under the guidance of Digital media artists Dave Young and Paul Fothergill from Interact and Connect, guided the groups to play, experiment and create a garden of the future, focusing on the conservation of bees. Approximately 20 children and their parents took part in the event.
The project is recognised by York UNESCO city of media arts Digital Adventurers scheme to encourage and support children and young people in their creative and cultural pursuits and future careers in the sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Kew Pollination Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Maxwell delivered a short talk about the project at Kew Gardens as part of the Defra Bees Needs week of events in July 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description London Design Fair 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact AHRC's "Design Research for Change" at The London Design Fair (4 days)
We were selected to show the Beespoon at the London Design Fair as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) exhibition of research, which took place at the Old Truman Brewery. The event had an international reach with 30, 000 visitors over the four days.
Visitors included members of the general public including international tourists, design professionals, and academics. We were told there was a very positive response to the installation. We made a new Beespoon for this event because the other Beespoon was already pre-booked.
The project featured in a publication that accompanied the show:
Design Research for Change. / Rodgers, Paul Anthony.
In: Diseña, Vol. 13, 09.2018, p. 110-139.

Web description of the event for reference:
"Design Research for Change is a showcase of 67 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Design research projects. The projects traverse disciplinary, methodological, geographical, and conceptual boundaries. The work showcased here was developed by researchers and practitioners from a range of Design disciplines including product, graphic, fashion, and furniture and from other specialist areas such as healthcare, business, engineering, and elsewhere. The projects illustrate wide-ranging social, cultural, and economic impact and highlight the significant roles that UK-based Design researchers play in some of the most complex and challenging issues we face both in the UK and globally and the positive outcomes that are being designed and developed."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.designresearchforchange.co.uk/showcase/
 
Description Manchester Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project team took the Telling the Bees Beespoon and the Interactive Hive to Manchester Science Festival, where we had stalls in the Manchester Printworks.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/the-scienceworks/
 
Description Muse Hack, York 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Over 10 young people aged 10-14 worked with digi-makers Dave Young and Paul Fothergill from Interact and Connect over eight-weeks in Autumn 2017 using a York Explore established Muse Hack programme (drawing on making and hacking approaches to creatively explore digital making and music technology). This instance of the Muse Hack initiative was themed around bees, exploring and prototyping future technologies. The project is recognised by York UNESCO city of media arts Digital Adventurers scheme to encourage and support children and young people in their creative and cultural pursuits and future careers in the sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description PolliNation Private Viewing (Explore York Library) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The Pollination exhibit of over 470 individually designed and created pollen hexagons was launched with a private viewing at York Explore Main Library for around 40 people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description PolliNation Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Hacking the Bees collaborated with community artist Claire Douglas from York Learning (York City Council) to run over 10 free workshops during summer 2017, where local art classes, residential care homes, special needs schools, and members of the public used watercolour pencils to draw images of microscopic pollen on small wooden hexagons. Over the course of these workshops, over 470 hexagons were produced, which were then exhibited in York Explore Main Library for 2 months.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description RHS Chatsworth 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Telling the Bees team delivered and set up the Beespoon exhibit in the British Beekeepers Association tent at RHS Chatsworth. The exhibit was then left to BBKA volunteers to manage as a pilot of our 'touring' Beespoon Mk.II.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Royal Highland Show 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The team took its Beespoon exhibit and interactive hive for display in the Honey Tent at the Royal Highland Show, reaching thousands of people over the course of the show.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Schools Trip: Clumber Park 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We ran a day of activities at Clumber Park in May 2017 as an introduction to the project for Year 5 pupils at Manor Lodge and Wybourn Community Primary Schools in Sheffield.

Activities included drama, the Beespoon installation, an observation hive and discussion with beekeepers, as well as a map drawing activity designed to support the schools' maths and geography curriculum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Schools Trip: York 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We organised a day of activities for children from Manor Lodge and Wybourn Community Primary Schools to complete their role in the project. The pupils played drama games, engaged in group creative writing exercises, did some art and design activities, and were able to see their 3D printed artefacts on public display.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Schools Workshops, Sheffield 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The project ran a series of workshops in primary schools in Sheffield. At Manor Lodge School, 1 day workshops were spread across an entire half term. At Wybourn School, the workshops comprised a consolidated week of bee-themed activities.

With the aim of producing imaginative, futuristic designs for saving bees or coping in a world without them, the workshops included learning about bees through reading, writing, drama and web searching activities, design tasks including 2D and 3D prototyping, storyboarding, mood boards and roleplay. Pupils were also given the opportunity of producing 3D models using design software, which were then 3D printed.

At the end of the workshops, parents and guardians were invited to a special exhibit to view the pupils' creations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Social Media 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact To support our events and appearances throughout 2017, we started a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. Now that the core delivery period has ended the Facebook page has since been deleted.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://twitter.com/tellthebee
 
Description That's York TV report of Hack Camp 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Local TV channel "That's York" report of Hack Camp event (see Engagement section). Available on YouTube with 167 views as of 15 March 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLcQZTYUMgk
 
Description The Herald Scotland (newspaper) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article in local press (April 12, 2017) relating to the Edinburgh International Science Festival installation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact There is a project website containing information about project information, contact details, key events, and a short blog at www.tellingthebees.buzz
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.tellingthebees.buzz/
 
Description York Literature Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Design Fictions were presented as part of the York Literature Festival at York St Johns on March 22nd, 2018. The Exhibition Hive (physical design fictions and their accompanying case) was exhibited. Following the talk, members of the audience were invited to respond to the design fictions (created by primary school children) through creative writing, and several short writing pieces subsequently were passed onto the research team from the event organisers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://yorkstjohnpollinationproject.com/2018/03/29/pollination-anthology-launch-event/
 
Description York Press 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article on the PolliNation project in the local press.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/15468795.We_need_to_talk_about_bees___/
 
Description York Summer Reading Challenge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project ran 5 bee-themed workshops and drop-in sessions across 3 libraries in York. Activities included working with the Beespoon exhibit, storytelling, making artificial bee eyes, and learning about the waggle dance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017