An old fence post, pieces of chicken wire, coloured wool, and paper cups – these were some of the more unusual ingredients that went into creating five magnificent bees, designed for the first ever Student Teams Competition held at the Interflora World Cup. And why bees? As pollinators, they are vital for our life on earth, a staggering third of the world’s food production depends on bees and the worker bee is also the symbol of Manchester, where the World Cup was staged.
The student’s brief was to work to the same overall theme of the rest of the competition, ‘Our Natural World’ inspired by a desire to consider sustainability and to try to eliminate waste and reuse products wherever possible, a challenge that was taken up with enthusiasm by the teams who where incredibly imaginative when it came to construction and design.
They were allowed to make the bee structure in advance, and then were given 45 minutes to prepare their flower material before a very busy 50 minutes of activity followed as they brought their giant bees to life. Every bee was different, but they all lived up to the brief of being made from sustainable materials.
Each bee was judged by a panel of four, including Per Benjamin, the World Cup competition’s compere and a previous World Champion, and a representative of the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust. Points were awarded for idea, colour, composition, and workmanship, the same criteria as the World Cup competitors around them. What an experience!
And the winner was…
Congratulations to Moreton Morrell College in Warwickshire for taking first prize with their design constructed from materials salvaged from the grounds of the agricultural college. Their award-winning bee was given a furry body by upcycling bouquet collars and its compound eyes were lotus seed heads rescued from a Christmas wreath.
In second and third place were Reaseheath College from Cheshire and CAFRE from Antrim Northern Ireland. Worthy runners up were Coleg Cambria from North Wales and Bishop Burton College, Beverley, who both produced extremely colourful and inventive creations.
Well done everybody!
The Student Team Competition was sponsored by:
Su Whale is a florist and freelance writer with over twenty-five years' experience in the floristry industry. She is the author and publisher of three best-selling books: Cut Flowers, 4th edition (2020) Cut Foliage, 2nd Edition, (2021) and Houseplants (2019), all bookshelf essentials for the professional florist.