A swarm of extra-large bees appeared in Staines-upon-Thames over the last weekend in March. These were no ordinary bees. Each 12cm bee was handcrafted by a local activist and designed to draw attention to the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill. On Monday the remaining bees swarmed to Talking Tree,
Over 50 bees were created by local residents and then distributed around the town centre, settling mainly on trees and the flower displays in the High Street. This was an example of ‘craftivism’, people using their craft skills to create items, which are then distributed to increase awareness of a particular issue or campaign. Each bee carried the message BEE FOR CEE, and a label encouraging those that read it to ask their local Member of Parliament to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill.
The bees were fixed to trees, railings and flower displays around the town centre on Friday 26th March and soon caught the attention of those visiting the town. People were intrigued about where they had come from and several people brought their children into town to see how many bees they could spot. On the following Monday all the remaining bees were collected up and displayed in the window of Talking Tree.
If passed into law the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill would set statutory targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions and the restoration of habitats to support biodiversity. The Bill should have been debated in Parliament on Friday 26th March, but changes in the Parliamentary schedule mean this debate was postponed and no new date has yet been set. The Bill is supported by over 100 Members of Parliament, with more pledging their support as time goes on and the full significance of the climate emergency is better understood.