Rochdale children learn how to Bee-Have
Primary school students from Rochdale had a busy afternoon finding out about bees and their links with co-operation during Bee-Have, an event run by Outreach Officers from the soon-to-be-reopened Pioneers Museum.
Students from eight schools across the borough had their faces painted and buzzed around St Mary in the Baum Church – just across the road from the Toad Lane Museum – dressed as bees. The young bee-fects learned how to behave like bees by co-operating with students from other schools to solve puzzles and complete activities such as bee-themed word searches and giant jigsaws. Honey-tasting went down a treat, and students were also shown blueberries, apples, lettuce, onions and broccoli to demonstrate the types of food that rely in some way on bees for their production.
Matthew Rowbotham, who is in his third year of keeping bees, was on hand to talk to students about beekeeping and the type of apparatus used. He said: “As a beekeeper I’m amazed at how well bees co-operate. For such small animals, they seem to do so much. That’s such a good lesson for humanity, and business.”
The Rochdale Pioneers Museum is based in the building where the Rochdale Pioneers set up the first successful co-operative shop in 1844, laying the foundations for the modern-day co-operative movement. Father Mark Haworth, vicar at St Mary’s described co-operatives as “putting together a plan for how business and people could work together for mutual benefit”.
The Museum will be reopening during 2012 International Year of Co-operatives, and Father Mark explained to students: “This is a very special year for Rochdale because this is where it all began, a worldwide movement. People will be coming to Rochdale throughout the year.” Eve Broadhurst, Arts Development Officer for the ROCHDALE Project, reminded students: “The town you all live in is such a special town.”
Students watched short animation The Story of the Rochdale Pioneers, which tells the story of how 28 Rochdale men got together to improve the lives of working people. One student, from Brimrod Primary School, enjoyed finding out more about the links between his town and co-operatives. He said: “I buy a lot from the Co-op – I think it’s good. They started from food and now they’re up to travel, funerals and pharmacies. You can’t go anywhere without seeing a co-op.”
Eve also explained the link between bees and co-operatives, and reminded students of the co-operative values and principles. She said: “Bees live in co-operative colonies and have been giving us honey for thousands of years. Bees are responsible for themselves and are co-operators.”
The afternoon was part of an ongoing bee-themed project which aims to make Rochdale a bee-friendly town. Each school received its own Bee-Have pack containing games, workshops, information and bee-friendly wildflower seeds provided by the Co-operative for planting in a plot back at school.
Any Rochdale schools that produce bee-themed work are invited to send it to the Rochdale Pioneers Museum for display when it reopens this summer.
For more information about the Bee-Have project contact email@example.com.
Published On: April 25, 2012
Written By: Natalie