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Electric Bees at Great British Bioscience Festival

Visitors experimenting with electrostatic glitter, attracting glitter like bees acquire pollen © 2014 Joel Knight –

27 November 2014

Last weekend, thousands of visitors flocked to the Great British Bioscience Festival to discover how bioscience fuels us, feeds us and keeps us healthy. Twenty interactive exhibits from across the UK fascinated and inspired visitors, as they had the chance to conduct their own experiments, play games and even walk through a giant colon.

Over its 3 day duration, more than 6,500 visitors attended the festival, held in Museum Gardens, Bethnal Green, London, and left feeling inspired. 

The festival was the culmination of a year-long programme of activities marking BBSRC's 20th anniversary – providing a unique opportunity for BBSRC and its scientists to bring awe-inspiring bioscience research to the public.

Research by Daniel Robert, Gregory Sutton, Dominic Clarke and Heather Whitney was presented to reveal the invisible electric world of bees and how they interact with flowers using weak static electricity. The exhibit contained live bumblebees, performing a live experiment as the bees visited sugar feeding station that lit up in response to the bee's own electric charge. Visitors could experience electrostatic on their own, and had much fun attracting glitter to electrostatic rods and also dispersing that glitter across the exhibit.

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