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Floors Castle is ‘buzzing’ about the arrival of one thousand clay bees from Kelso High School

1st May 2018

More than 1,000 golden clay bees have been handmade, fired and painted locally in Kelso.

Young people from Kelso High School and surrounding primary schools have worked alongside their teachers, local community, politicians and business leaders to create ‘The Golden Swarm’. The bees will form an installation that celebrates the collaboration of the local community and is the product of the Golden Swarm project which began over one year ago.

In anticipation of the move to the new Kelso High School, pupils raised over £11,000 toward the Golden Swarm project, which celebrates the eco-friendly nature of the new school. As part of the project the ‘Bee Club’ was also formed and they have been collecting data from their very own apiary, which contains two beehives. The development of bespoke Raspberry Pi computer, fitted into a beehive, has also aided the collection of data that will be shared with the wider beekeeping community. This mini-computer measures sound frequency, light, temperature, records video, humidity and carbon dioxide concentration which allows the assessment of colony health and productivity.

After a spell at the new Kelso High School the installation, made up of 1000 clay bees, will find its new summer home at Floors Castle, where the installation will be displayed within the Walled Garden from Tuesday 29 May.

The pupils and volunteers who have ‘swarmed’ together to create the 1,000 bees were also encouraged to write a ‘hope or wish’ alongside their bee and the one deemed the most inspirational will be presented with a solid gold bee created by extremely talented dentist Wayne Flack at The Vision Dental Laboratory.

All of this has only been possible with the financial support of The Big Lottery Fund, the Fallago Environment Fund, Ernest Cook Trust, Charity Begins at Home and Roxburghe Estates.