This weekend, 3rd to 5th July 2020 should have been Timber festival. Covid19 has put paid to this lovely events. In response to the cancellation of the event an alternative event has been devised. It is call "Sounds of the Forest". This blog is about how the Boothrope bees found a place on the sound map.  
Wild Rumpus, the curators of the Timber festival said "We are collecting the sounds of woodlands and forests from all around the world, creating a growing soundmap bringing together aural tones and textures from the world’s woodlands. 
The sounds form an open source library, to be used by anyone to listen to and create from. Selected artists will be responding to the sounds that are gathered, creating music, audio, artwork or something else incredible, to be presented at Timber Festival 2021." 
Check the website and you will find a utility to upload your sound recording.  
Yes put a spot of glue there. Yes it will rub off it is PVA. Step back give yourself some room to swing the hammer. That is pretty much how the 1st Blackfordby Scout Group got on with building the brood chamber and supers of the bee hives for the Booththrope Orchard and Pollinator project (BOPP). 
BOPP is just one of the many projects organised by the Black to Green team at The National Forest Company. Black to Green is a project base in the Heart of the Forest, a 10 square mile area within North West Leicestershire and South Derbyshire. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Black to Green is telling the story of the extraordinary landscape change that has taken place over the last 25 years. Through the creation of the National Forest the scarred landscape previously dominated by coal mining and clay extraction has been transformed to a much greener, sustainable landscape. It’s an exceptional story of rapid change, with woodland cover increasing over the last 20 years from 1% to 27%. Through a range of conservation and heritage activities the Black to Green focuses on engaging local people, developing habitats for wildlife and interpreting the story of the transformation. 
Find out more about the National Forest. Click HERE 
The troop was split into two groups. One group built the brood chamber and supers that form the bees new home. The other group made the frames which is where the bees make their honeycomb nest. Part way through the evening the team swapped jobs. That was enough for one evening. 
On another evening the outreach workers from Black to Green arrange a session to paint the hives.  
A special mention needs to go to the Black to Green project. It was a Heritage Lottery funded project managed by The National Forest A field in the hamlet of Boothorpe was selected to be an orchard. The scheme is called the Boothorpe Orchard & Pollinator Project (BOPP). The orchard, now planted, has about 100 heritage varieity fruit trees, Apple, Pear, and Damson. A corner of the field was fenced off and two hives were purchased. The 1st Blackfordby Scout group had a preliminary lesson about the life cycle of honeybees. In the next session they made up the two hives. The hives are different colours. There is a good reason the paint the hives beside waterproofing the wood of the hive. Bees recognise colours and shapes so making the hive unique and helps the home coming bees recognise their hive. The design on the hives is due to the work of the community out reach officer Jo Maker. With Jo the scouts explored their landscape and came up with the colour schemes. The blue represents the rivers and the below ground springs of the area. This was a coal mining area. The nearby town of Ashby de la Zouch was a spa town for many years based of the mineral waters that were pumped out of the mines. The yellow one represents the clay and sand that was extracted in the area.  
A number of community groups and scout groups have came to visit the bees over the summer. 
The bees were busy over the summer. The 1st Blackfordby scouts were back to extract and jar their honey crop. Black to green funded the labels.  
The hamlet of Boothorpe is right in the middle of the National Forest and is a short walk from the Timber festival site at Feanedock. Boothorpe Bees contributed to the sound map. It had been a very hot few days when the recording was made. There were lots of bees on the front of the hive fanning to keep the hive cool as well as the foraging bees coming and going.  
If you are interested in honeybees we do colony visits where you can see inside live bee hive. Click HERE to find out more. You can learn about honeybees with the Bee Farmer,click HERE to find out more. 
Click HERE to vist the Sounds of the Forest website. Discover the worldwide contributors to the project and find those in your neighbourhood. Consider making a recording to be included in the project.  
Tagged as: Case study, Misc
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