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Case Study Golden Bee Swarm Kelso
Case Study Golden Bee Swarm A thousand golden bees have gone on display at Floors Castle, Kelso, as part of a stunning new collective artwork created by pupils from Kelso High School and named 'The Golden Swarm'.

Funded by the Fallago Environment Fund, the pupils themselves and a number of additional sponsors, and with support from Scottish Borders Council, the artwork is part of a unique learning project at the school that combines beekeeping, art and science.

It originated through a successful partnership with Roxburghe Estates, which housed the school beekeeping club's apiary in its grounds from 2014 until 2017, when it was transferred to the new school grounds. Each of the golden bees has been hand-made from clay by Kelso High pupils, children from neighbouring primary schools, teachers, parents, members of the community and a number of local politicians.

Painted gold, each bee has been mounted on perspex rods and developed into a beautiful collaborative artwork by Borders artist Robyn Kinsman Blake and Jenny Bonner from Kelso High School's art department The work will be on display in the Walled Garden at Floors Castle until July 31.

'The Golden Swarm' project also included a strong science element, with funding provided for computer programmer Richard Todd to act as a scientist-in-residence, training the pupils in Raspberry Pi application programming. With Richard's guidance, they were able to develop a cutting-edge program to monitor the temperature, light, sound, carbon dioxide concentration and humidity levels in the school's hive, allowing the assessment of colony health and productivity. There is a potential to stream footage live online, and the application will be shared with the wider beekeeping community as part of efforts to enhance understanding and protection of bees.

The final golden bees were added to the artwork on Monday, May 28, by members of Kelso High School's beekeeping club. To mark the occasion, Roxburghe Estates invited the whole school to Floors Castle to take part in a day of countryside-themed activities in the grounds. These included workshops on photography, gamekeeping, arable farming, beekeeping, woodland and flood management.
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