Bee species around the world are declining, & when you think about the impact bees have on our planet, it's worrying news. Simple actions though can make a difference, & by making these Seed Paper Bees & sharing them with friends you'll be providing more nectar, pollen & shelter for bees & wildlife in your local area & further afield.
You could use any wildflower seeds to make these, we used a mixture of cornflower, poppy, borage, & lungwort. Most garden centres or supermarkets have a good selection of wildflower seeds, just look for the bee-friendly sticker on the packets.
To make our Seed Paper Bees you'll need:
4-6 sheets of old newspaper plus some scraps of yellow paper
2 cups of warm water
Old tea towel & muslin/cloth
A splatter guard or fine metal gauze
1. Start by tearing the old newspaper into small pieces & soaking them in a bowl of warm water for around 10mins. Add the water & paper mix to a food mixer & blitz briefly until you have a pulp. Unplug the mixer & add your wildflower seeds. You only need to add 3-4 pinches of seed, if you add too many the plants won't grow.
2. Pour the pulp mix onto a muslin/cloth placed over a mixing bowl, then twist the cloth to squeeze most (but not all) of the water out of the pulp.
3. To create our bee shape we used a small easter egg cookie cutter which we placed on top of a splatter guard with a cooling rack & tea towel underneath. To make the Seed Paper Bees take a small section of the pulp & push it into the cookie cutter with your fingers, making sure that as much liquid as possible drains from the pulp.
4. Then carefully push the 'bee' from the cookie cutter & leave to dry on a cooling rack. We left ours to dry overnight in the airing cupboard & they were ready to decorate the next day.
We used a thick pen to create some stripes before adding a set of small wings made from recycled paper which we glued to the back, then our bees were ready to share with friends & family. It's great to think that more wildflowers will soon be popping up in a host of different gardens.
Plant them in a garden, flowerpot, or even a window box this Spring & they'll soon create a beautiful array of colour for you & the bees to enjoy this Summer, & because they're biodegradable there's no waste left behind. What's more, the wildflowers that these Seed Paper Bees produce will create more seeds for new flowers next year. Fabulous!
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