Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 4    April 2011

Wearable Garden Creates Food for Bees
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Condensed by Native Village

United Kingdom: All around the world, bees are dying. No one knows why. The greatest decline is with domesticated honey bees. Our plants, which include our food sources, are dependent on these bees.

Scientists call the phenomenon Colony Collapse Disorder. CCD is an epidemic that's killed millions of bees since it  was first observed in 1995.

One ways to support your area's bee population is to plant organic gardens of attractive flowers for the bees to feed on.  If you don't have garden space, try changing your shirt instead.

The Pollinator Frocks Project is a limited edition clothing line. Artist Karen Ingham, scientists, and technologists worked together to find aromas and materials that mimic the way insects relate to flowers.
To create the pollinator fabrics, the material was:

1. Scanned with electron microscopy images of plant pollen grains which attract  pollinators.

2. Treated with pollinator food that replicates nectar. This is coated onto the fabrics before they are cut and sewed into “pollinator frocks.” .

“The designs consist of ‘day-wear’ for insects such as bees and butterflies and ‘evening-wear’ for moths,"  Ingham said.  "In the urban environment where garden space is limited and nectar rich plants rare, the clothing can be hung out as clothes are hung on a washing line, to act as an attractant to pollinators,”

Ingham sees these “wearable gardens”  as a way to stabilize bee populations in areas where nectar-rich plants are rare, and as a way to generate some “buzz” about their dwindling populations.

Most of The Pollinator Frocks loose fitting clothing will come
in unisex sizes.

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Backgrounds: Robert Kaufman Fabrics:

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