Buzz About Bees

Sharlene Chiu, Tricia Shi and Zachary Collins

The data says that bees are dying and colonies in many areas are declining in size. We wanted to tell this story because we believe that, although many people know bee populations have been declining, they are unaware of what they can do to help stop it.

Our audience are flower shoppers. Many varieties of flowers offer a means for bees to collect the nectar they use as an energy source. Some can be more impactful than others, allowing bees to gather nectar more easily. People who are already thinking of planting flowers can make decisions that could have an impact on bee populations in their area.

Our goals are to have them understand the problems bees are facing, recognize that planting flowers can help and aid them in picking flowers that both grow well in their area and easily allow bees to collect the nectar they need to survive.

Our sketch is an interactive display that can help localize the problem to the individual. The flow works as follows. We would set up the display in a supermarket / plant nursery / flower shop with an opening display that consists of “Did You Know” bee facts and a clickable map that invites individuals to learn more about bees in their state. Upon clicking they’ll be presented with information about the good bees do for them in their state – plants they help pollinate, honey they produce. Then it will transition to damage being done to bees – Both locally and nationally. This highlights the problem at hand and localizes it to where the individual is from. We present facts like how many colonies have declined over the past year and that bumblebees have recently been placed on the endangered species list. We will then pose that planting particular flowers can help bee populations. Then, we would allow the user to select between different flowers, pulling up a map of what counties in the state these flowers grow well in. Finally, it provides a link where one can learn more information about the problems bees are facing.

Our sketch takes a national problem and localizes to the area the individual is from. It demonstrates a simple way they can help through a platform that is very inviting and easy to use. We attempt to help them understand the existence of the bee decline and point them in the direction toward flowers that can help bees successfully collect the nectar they need. Since they are probably already thinking of purchasing flowers, showing them which kinds help could sway their decisions.

The map display we utilize is important in allowing us to get our message across. We want to provide the buyer information about what grows well in and around their local area. We present the flowers in a checkout guide manner – allowing them to select between them and see pictures of what the fully grown version looks like. Without the bees in mind, this could already be effective in helping them pick out what flowers they like. Giving them options among the kinds that help bees the most pushes them toward making a decision that could influence populations in their area. Placing it on a map familiar to them allows them to compare the locations in which they grow effectively and couldn’t easily be replicated using another form.