OUR DREAM: Honeybee Haven
Dave and I have a dream that we would like to share with fellow believers. We would like to maintain a nature preserve with a bee museum for the purpose of educating the public of the importance of our pollinators. We have considered a portable museum that could be carried in a van or bus. It could be set up in a gymnasium or other large room or it could be installed into a school bus where people could pass through it to view the exhibits. Ultimately, however, we would like to create a permanent building for the museum where classes could come on field trips and tour buses could visit. I would even like to include a rustic camp where newbee beekeepers (and their families) could come to learn about beekeeping in earnest. I have even entertained the idea of having an educational Bed and Breakfast type setup having guests in our home or in a small motel-type building or cabin(s). My husband, Dave (Pollinator@sc.rr.com) is highly qualified to teach beekeeping both through his extenisve experience and his love for teaching about nature in general and about bees in particular.
The following are specific ideas that I have considered
for starters and would like to incorporate into a bee museum:
Display of the stages in the life of the bee. Eggs and larvae could be made with beeswax. Molds could be made so all stages could be re-poured as needed. Adult bees would be made of styrofoam and/or other lighter weight durable materials.
The Life of an Adult Honeybee. Oversized model of a honeycomb frame with stuffed bees. Bees could be humanized. For example, nurse hats (for nurse bees), apron & hat (for custodial bees), military type hat (for guard bees), crown and purple cape (for queen bee), etc. Design one or two mites with Velcro on the feet and with a needle or other type mouth that sticks into the bee it is attached to. It can be moved from one bee to another.
The honeycomb model could be sized so that a child would be bee-sized in comparison. It could be made out of a tough plastic so that the children could climb on it. The cells could be made individually and supported in honeycomb formation, tightly banded to keep them from tumbling apart.
Observation hive. Live bees for students to observe.
Models of good and bad pollination in fruits and vegetables.
Pictures and captions explaining the need for pollination and pollinators.
HONEY, BEESWAX AND BEE PRODUCTS
Pictures and/or models of steps of extracting, straining, and packing honey.
Display of many kinds of honey.
Pictures and/or models of the process of extracting beeswax and refining it.
Uses of Beeswax display.
Beeswax candles display.
Other Bee Products: pollen, propolis
BEEHIVES AND BEEKEEPING
Model bee hive students can disassemble and put back together. Frames contain artificial brood, honey, pollen, etc. and are made to look like real combs.
Historical hive types such as the skep. Also top bar hive used in third world countries.
Pollination and Migratory Beekeeping
THREATS TO BEES
If a yellow school bus were used as a bee museum, the windows could be slide picture frames. In the day, the outside light would light up the pictures. At night there could be a light inside the bus so people could see the pictures from the outside.
Dave (my husband) has become highly proficient in
photography and can supply photographs for use in displays. See his work on The Pollination Homepage.
OUR REQUEST FOR PRAYER
We have more ideas than time and money. Our age (upper 50's) is also becoming more and more of a problem in making this happen so this may have to be a retirement project if it happens at all. Beekeeping has turned out to be more of a passion than an income for us. Dave is now the editor of our local weekly newspaper. I am a school library media specialist.
We would like to be able to obtain land, 4-10 or more acres, in the country within 50 miles of the Grand Strand of South Carolina, as well as a grant or other financial resources to purchase the land and develop the program. We have recently purchased a home (with a mortgage) in this area. There is a piece of land approximately two acres nearby that we might be able to obtain at a reasonable price for a small nature preserve or bee museum.
I am artistic... a "Jack of all trades but master of none." I do not feel competant enough to create the wax models of the bees or the original pattern for the stuffed bees. I could sew them but could use help developing the bee pattern.
I think the model honeycomb that children could climb on could be created out of recycled and melted down milk jugs, but I don't know how to start or if it could be a home project.
I have written children's book manuscripts and have also created a beekeeping game that I would like to have published and/or manufactured. I do not have the capital to invest to go the "vanity press" route. Neither have I found enough time to research the markets persistantly enough to find a publisher. I have no idea where take the game. I would like it to have it include small hive-body parts in the game pieces but wonder how to find a company willing to make that. I am praying for God's direction on where to find resources and where to submit my manuscripts.