Thursday, 22 August 2013

Visiting The Bee Library.

In our quest to fill the school summer holidays with stuff to do we ventured forth to the most reliable of local entertainments this week, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which is, as luck and geography would have it, only a few miles down the road.

We visit it quite regularly. It's in Yorkshire, it's a park and it contains sculptures. What's not to like? (Also, admission is free and parking £7.50 for a whole day which makes me like it even more. *Parsimonious school holiday face.*)

This time we took an entirely different route around the park to the ones we normally take, for around the YSP's Upper Lake are 24 books hidden among the trees that compile The Bee Library, an installation made in the park in by Alec Finlay last year and a journey that appealed to my current bee obsession.

So we set out on our hunt for The Bee Library because hunt it is. Books, actual books, have been adapted (with bamboo, wire-netting and waterproofing) to house bees. But not just any old bees, ones that are crucial to pollination. There are several such kinds of bees but one of them is called the Hairy Footed Flower Bee and, frankly, that should be reason enough for anything.

The Bee Books are sprinkled, hung and hidden around the park's Upper Lake, a relatively new area to explore for visitors to the YSP. It's wilder and more woodland than the more sculpted areas of the park and echoes the park's history because bits of it keep popping up in unexpected places. It's also quieter and less busy than the rest of the park. Or it was until we arrived.

I didn't, unfortunately, get to see a Hairy Footed Flower Bee. Or many bees but I didn't miss them. The searching for the bee books, the occasional pop-up piece of history, the glimpse of a bunny rabbit in the trees. These are the things family memories are made of. Even the arguing over who spotted the bunny rabbit first (currently ongoing).

Our walk, in pictures

Looking for the Bee Books.
We know there's a Bee Book here, but where?
A Bee Book *squeals* Clue: Look up.
No Bee Book here, just an art installation.
Dramatic photo opportunity 
A brief pause for Pooh Sticks, like you do
A random boathouse
A rest in a random Greek Temple...
.. for some of us.
But, after all that (and there was definitely some That when The Boy didn't spot the bunny), at the end of a couple of hours The Tween and The Boy are still smiling and you hardly can see the blood stains At All....

*Happy face*


  1. Absolutely love your photographs, I work in a museum with a walled garden and we have just installed a Bee Hotel for random visiting bees. I like the Bee Book idea.


  2. Your photos are gorgeous! This looks like a wonderful place for an exploration hike.

  3. lovely photos, what a great park! :)

  4. That looks utterly beautiful and all for a day's car parking! I hope you will return in the autumn and share some photos then, I should imagine that would be stunning with the leaves changing colour. Thank you for joining me on Country Kids


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