Exploring Bees is a wonderful arts event series taking place in Leicester this summer, that allows children to get creative and learn about nature in the city centre.

From dance sessions, to music making and printing, all Exploring Bees workshops are free of charge and are suitable for children aged 5-10 years old. The workshops will take place in Leicester city centre during the summer, with all workshops located at either Leicester Gallery at De Montfort University, LCB Depot, Museum Square (outside Leicester Museum and Art Gallery) and Orton Square (outside Curve).

Funded by Arts Council England and curated by Leicester based Beekeeper and Cultural Producer, Liga Orlovska, in each workshop participants will be able to explore bees differently. We caught up with Liga to find out more about the sessions.

Tell us about your background in this field?

I grew up with bees. My mum was a beekeeper, so there always was the smell of honey and wax in our house. My mum was one of those crazy beekeepers who wore only the veil (beekeeping hat). I started to keep bees during the pandemic here in Leicester and the more I learn about them the more I want to share my findings with others.

How did Exploring Bees come about?

Bees are such an interesting insect. As children most of us like black and yellow bees in picture books, but how much actually do we know about them? Are they even yellow? What do they do in the hive? I couldn’t think of a better way to tell the story of bees than through different art forms. Therefore, it’s been so exciting to open the hives to artists and give them a chance to look into this secret world of bees. They have learnt so much and created exciting workshops for children based on hive inspections.

What is it about bees that you find fascinating?

Bees are very well organised; they have thought of everything. Jobs of who is doing what and why in a hive comes from them working as a living organism, you could even say that they have a collective mind. Even if the Queen sets the temper of the colony and the colony can’t exist for long without a Queen, bees would easily get rid of a Queen that doesn’t function very well.

What inspires you?

Crazy and extraordinary ideas, when someone says that it can’t be done. That’s when I am getting super curious to find out why not and trying to find a way to do it twice whilst working with the most amazing and exciting artists and nature practitioners.

How important is it for people to promote nature in an urban setting?

People live, work and spend time for leisure in the city and to have that connection to nature is important to our wellbeing wherever we are. Therefore, to teach people to connect with nature elements in the urban areas can help us not only to feel better but to develop environmental responsibilities.

What will people take away from the workshops that are happening?

Families with children will be working with the musician, dance artist and printmaker. In these free workshops they will find out more about bees and how we all can connect with nature in urban areas. In each workshop participants will be able to explore bees differently, bee wing orchestra will be formed, and waggle dance will be learnt, the colours of colony will be explored and prints of bees favourite flowers will be made. Children will not only be able to learn through creative workshops, but will explore new artistic methods and have fun time with their families.

All workshops we will be delivering in the city centre are free of charge. For dance workshops families will need to book on, but other workshops will be pop by any time, make and take.

Dates & times

Dance workshops (booking required):
Wednesday 10 August – Orton Square (1pm, 2pm)
Sunday 14 August – Leicester Gallery at De Montfort University (1pm, 2pm, 3pm)
Tuesday 16 August – Museum Square (1pm, 2pm)
Saturday 17 September – St Martin’s Square

Music workshops:
Tuesday 9 August – Museum Square (11am – 2pm)
Wednesday 17 August – Orton Square (11am – 2pm)
Saturday 10 September – St Martin’s Square (11am – 3pm)
Sunday 11 September – Leicester Gallery at De Montfort University (1pm – 3pm)

Print workshops:
Saturday 13 August – LCB Depot (11am – 4pm)
Tuesday 23 August – Museum Square (11am – 2pm)
Wednesday 24 August – Orton Square (11am – 2pm)
Saturday 3 September – St Martin’s Square (11am – 3pm)

Dance workshop places can be booked via Eventbrite. For full information on Exploring Bees and further events and activities from Honey Craft please visit www.honeycraft.org or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.