Three new woven bee sculptures have been installed in the grounds of Oaklands Park to encourage more visitors to Chelmsford Museum and highlight the brilliant work of the Chelmsford Beekeepers (CBK).

Funded by the Chelmsford Beekeepers, this project aims to increase knowledge of bees, pollinators, and the need to care for the environment. The Chelmsford Beekeepers have worked closely with the Museum and the City Council’s parks department to make this possible.

Who are the Chelmsford Beekeepers?

For over 100 years, the CBK have been working hard as a charity to educate people about bees. They offer training sessions to new beekeepers, further training for those who are more experienced, as well as educating volunteers at Hylands and Oaklands park. The CBK also respond to calls about swarms in the local area.

The Chelmsford Beekeepers have close links with Chelmsford Museum and are responsible for the installation and maintenance of the see-through hive on the first floor of the museum. The addition of the wicker bee sculptures to the grounds is an extension of this exhibition and promises to entice people to learn about the importance of bees.

As the Chelmsford Beekeepers, we pride ourselves on keeping interest in these hard-working insects alive in our region. Not only are bees productive in making honey and acting as pollinators, but they create such a wonderful addition to a natural landscape.

Brian Spencer, Chair of The Chelmsford Beekeepers

The meaning behind the sculptures

Three bees can be found in the flowerbeds outside the entrance of Chelmsford Museum – they represent honeybees which typically only live for six weeks in the summer. They sit within the beds to demonstrate how important bees are for the environment and will hopefully start conversations about our responsibility, as humans, to protect these species and give them the correct natural ‘corridors’ for pollination.

The CBK and the Museum are currently exploring ways of updating the bee area within the Museum to make it more interactive for both children and adults. The bee sculptures are a part of this wider project.

About the artist

Deb Hart, Essex based willow artist, tutor, and speaker, took on the challenge of creating the bee sculptures. She is known for her excellent work on the Jubilee crown which can be spotted on a main roundabout in Chelmsford, as well as the willow hedgehog sculpture, Henry, who sits in the pollinator garden at the Central Park Café.

Deb runs willow and basket weaving workshops as part of her small business and is commissioned to create impressive sculptures across the UK with her team.

Ribbon cutting to celebrate the event

The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor John Galley, attended the launch of the sculptures, which was followed by socialising in the Museum’s reception and a talk from the CBK team.

This is a delightful piece of art, making an interesting addition to the award-winning grounds of the museum. It’s also a way of bringing attention to the increasingly urgent need to protect nature and habitats. It echoes the council’s moves to support the conservation of our local species.

Councillor Galley, Mayor of Chelmsford

To find out more about beekeeping in Chelmsford, visit the CBK website.

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