Make an Alder Cone Bee Mobile


Celebrate the return of the bees with this bee-autiful mobile from our friends at Mud & Bloom.

Mud & Bloom boxes aim to connect children to nature, delivering seasonal nature crafts and gardening activities to your door at the beginning of each month. Each box includes everything you need for four seasonal gardening and nature craft activities along with nature news, spotting activities and games to teach children about animals, plants, insects, birds and the seasons. The boxes have been created for 3-8 year old’s by qualified teachers and support the national curriculum with influence from Forest School, Steiner and Montessori education. To find out more about Mud & Bloom boxes, visit mudandbloom.com.

The bees for this mobile are made using Alder cones from Alder trees which are common all over the UK and can be found growing near water – whether in woods, on farmland or in city parks. The cones are usually no more than 2cm long and are on the tree all year round. We found these ones in our local park. You could also use larch cones if you can’t find alder cones.

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What you need:

🐝 Alder cones
🐝 Yellow wool
🐝 White thread
🐝 White tissue paper
🐝 A small branch to hang your bees on
🐝 Scissors
🐝 A pencil

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Instructions:

1) Go for a walk and collect your alder cones. Below is a photo of the alder tree we got ours from, there were lots lying on the ground as well as on the branches. You will see them on the same branches as the catkins and new green shoots!

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2) Cut your tissue paper into small pieces, at least 8cm long. Fold them in half and draw a wing shape on each folded part, as shown in the photos below.

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3) The wing shapes should be around 3.5cm long.

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4) Cut out your wings – this should leave you with a double ‘wing’ shape when you unfold your tissue paper. Once you open your tissue paper the wing shape span should be around 7cm.

5) Cut your wool into 40cm lengths.

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6) Take a piece of your wool and wind it around the scales of your cone to make the bee’s stripes. Start at one end and wind it all the way across the cone.

7) Place your tissue paper wings over your bee’s body and criss-cross your wool around the cone and the wings a few times before tying a knot or securing the end of your wool underneath one of the stripes.

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8) Cut a piece of your white thread and tie it around your bees. Use the thread to hang them to your branch – or whatever you choose to hang them from. You might choose to hang them at different heights.

9) Enjoy your buzzing swarm of bees!

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