The BeeLiner is a mobile unit designed by experts and artists to bring the experience of a bee hive directly to students around the country. This page describes the rationale behind a mobile experience, the components of the BeeLiner, and the levels of sponsorship available to partners. Sweet Virginia plans to launch the BeeLiner in Spring 2018.
Honey bees have fascinated humanity across cultures around the world since the beginning of recorded history. By studying them, even young children can begin to sense that purpose permeates everything and that the world and its creatures are ordered, wondrous, and awe-inspiring.
We believe that each generation has an obligation to the next to pass on this awareness. Honey bees happen to showcase it beautifully.
One of the best investments we can make on behalf of honey bees, the crops they pollinate, the Earth, and the health and happiness of future generations is to point out to children examples of the interconnected order and beauty in the natural world.
Kids have less access to nature than ever before and less time to spend watching an ant crawl across the sidewalk or a bee buzzing on a sunflower. If they see a bee, a hive, or a swarm, their instinct may be to run. The BeeLiner brings a pivotal, sensory experience to elementary students that helps them understand and appreciate bees. Built into an Airstream trailer, it is a mobile exhibit designed by visual and technical artists to be a fully immersive experience of life inside the hive. It is supported by observation hives and activities at the entrance and exit.
When kids are able to approach bees in a safe environment, they begin to see an order in the seeming chaos. They are able to identify the queen and talk about her role, recognize the drones and notice that they are just hanging around, and question the frenetic activity of the worker bees. Inside the BeeLiner, kids have a chance to imagine life as a bee, getting a good sense of what the hive is like from the inside and how much work those bees are actually doing for a teaspoon of honey. With supporting materials, students are able to put the hive experience into context and develop a deep understanding of the honey bee and its colony.
In this realm of total video immersion, our visitors enter the hive in full swing. All around them, throngs of projected oversize bees bustle across the honeycomb intent upon their business, many of them engaged in the very tasks our young bees just learned to do. The projections onto curved screens surrounded by themed honeycomb and amplified sounds of a real hive complete the sensory experience.
Inside the hive, students take on the tasks of honey bees: they use their arms as a bee would use her wings, to heat the hive; they work with cell walls to build the comb; and they stomp and tap on cell rims to communicate.
When students are ready to exit the hive, they have a chance to see the world as bees do, through multiple hexagonal lenses with a particular spectrum of light. Once outside, they use the waggle dance to determine where to find pollen and nectar.
Ethan Turpin uses old and new media technologies to explore human perceptions. Working as an independent video producer and artist since 1999, his documentaries and art installations have shown in film festivals, galleries, and museums nationwide. Ethan is dedicated to making spaces for learning, where people of all ages are wrapped with wonder or engaged in play. His production skills include cinematography, video editing, architectural video mapping, conceptual drawing, digital compositing, and scenic fabrication. An introduction to a massive wild hive in 2012 began Ethan’s fascination with honeybees and work with Jonathan Smith on the immersive “Bee Cell” exhibit. Ethan studied sculpture at the Victoria College of Art in Melbourne, Australia, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1997 from the Kansas City Art Institute.
Jonathan has created numerous large scale installations, the majority of which have been immersive environments that encapsulate the audience and make the experience richer and more memorable. He has been Head of Lighting and Projection for seven festivals, in which he delights in creating a half-mile long roadway through the festival grounds using his unique lighting installations. He has worked extensively as Head of Lighting and Projection with Bamboo DNA, a company that creates some of the world’s largest bamboo sculptures for festivals such as Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival. He is adept at conceptualizing, sourcing, building, managing and directing big projects. With Ethan Turpin and Kym Cochran, he has created installations that make use of giant insect imagery, including The Bee Cell, Tulle Falls and GiAnts, to name a few.
For nearly 20 years, Kym Cochran has specialized in creating immersive environments. Her ability to capture the nuances of natural elements has established her as a known force in the theming industry. Her skills have been used in both North and South America and include attractions such as “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” (Orlando, FL), “Carsland” (Anaheim, FL) and “Parque Temático de Flora y Fauna” (Pereira, Colombia). Her knowledge includes all aspects of custom construction from concept to completion, ranging from small props to multi-million dollar projects. Specific skill sets include welding, sculpting and painting concrete and epoxies, custom mold making, scenic painting, and three-dimensional faux finishes. She has won numerous AZA Awards and THEA Award for Project Management.
You can help deliver the wonder of the honey bee to kids and adults all over the country. We offer sponsorship at several levels. Sponsoring organizations enjoy logo placement on the vehicle, on materials, and at events; inclusion in public relations outreach; the opportunity to designate tour stops; and website and social media presence.
Sole logo placement on vehicle and materials, co-placement in all PR materials, designation of two stops on BeeLiner tour, website presence on sweetvirginia.org.
Prominent placement of logo on vehicle and materials, inclusion in all PR materials, designation of one stop on BeeLiner tour, website presence on sweetvirginia.org.
Placement of logo on vehicle and materials, inclusion in PR materials, website presence on sweetvirginia.org and cooperative social media mentions.
Inclusion of logo on materials, website, and cooperative social media mentions