Bee the Revolution
Guest blog from Dan Harris from Bee Saviour Behaviour
Never stop believing, in these days of massive multi-nationals and mainstream media moguls, that a revolution can be started in your standard two bedroom terraced house in Norwich. There is gold in a good idea. That good idea can absolutley have handmade and DIY beginnings. On Friday 12th April a project that started in an ex-council flat in NR3 launched a crowdfunding campaign that’s quickly picking up local and national coverage as well as some well-known backers.
The journey started with the discovery that bees run out of energy really quick and can often fall exhausted to the ground in an urban environment. Now the exciting thing is that us humans can revive exhausted bees with a teaspoon of sugar solution… but where would you get a teaspoon of sugar solution when out and about in the city?!? So we decided to design a sugar solution carrier that would fit into your wallet or purse. The basic idea was to hide three puddles of sugar solution in holes in a plastic card held in by peelable stickers. That way if you come across an exhausted bee when out and about you can get out your card, peel back a sticker to reveal the solution and then lay in next to the bee for it to revive itself and hopefully fly off all happy!
The first versions were very rough and ready… made out of old store cards and stickers, handmade on a kitchen counter top in Gertrude Road in Norwich. A bit of funding from The Co-operative happened and we were able to send out 200 prototype cards to random members of the public… with more than a little anxiety for how they were going to be received. Our journey in 2018 showed us that people liked our thing that we’d handmade in Norwich. We quickly gained 1000 Instagram followers and were building a database of hundreds of email addresses of people who wanted a card. The next step was to ask the creative communities of our fine city for their support… we needed someone to make our thing beautiful and Rich Horne came to our aid.
It was time for a little bravery! We knew people liked what we’d made and we had customers eager for our ‘product’. It was time to make our handmade thing look a little less rough and ready… a bit more like a ‘product’ but without losing its charm. Our new sugar solution carrying cards were revealed to the world on 12th April with the launch of our crowdfunding campaign and raised over 40% of its crowdfunding target in the first week with over 200 supporters. We’ve had pledges from across Europe. We had a pledge from one of our heroes Robert MacFarlane… and we’re totally humbled and blown away by the response.
At a time when bee populations are in serious decline… with very worrying potential impacts on our food production we’re excited that our Bee Saviour Cards are raising awareness of the bees in our neighbourhoods. We’re also excited that with people feeling increasingly disconnected from wildlife our Bee Saviour Card can offer an invitation to a moment of magical connection with urban bees.
Our crowdfunding campaign will take Bee Saviour Behaviour from an idea and a handmade prototype into a pocket sized Bee Saviour revolution all from our fine city of Norwich. We’re setting up Bee Saviour Bahaviour as a community owned co-op and we’d love more people to get involved. If you’d like to know more about Bee Saviour Behaviour then do check out our crowdfunding campaign here https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/take-savethebees-to-the-streets and our instagram account http://www.instagram.com/saviourbees