Our story begins in 2017 when Katy Malone, the Scotland Conservation Officer of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT), contacted me to ask if I would help ‘create some worksheets to use in schools in the far north of Scotland to help them understand about rare Great Yellow Bumblebees‘. I jumped at the chance.

This work was part of the BBCT’s Saving the Great Yellow Bumblebee project. The worksheet I came up with centred around a poem I wrote specially, that incorporated lots of information about this rare bumblebee. The idea was that children would learn and perform the poem, thereby becoming ambassadors for the GYB in their local communities.

Jump to June of this year, when BBCT volunteer and retired primary school teacher Margaret Alston contacted me with the following message:

‘I am producing a humorous, musical playlet called ‘Saving the Humble Bumble…Part 2’, for the Dundee Flower and Food Festival. Briefly, it tells the story of the Great Yellow Bumblebee making her way south towards Dundee gathering other bumblebees plus supporters, giving advice and raising awareness of the plight of the Bumble.’

Margaret asked if she could include my poem The GYB in her playlet. I readily agreed – on one condition: that she sent me a video of my poem being performed.

The climax of our story came last weekend, when ‘Saving the Humble Bumble…Part 2’ was performed at the aforementioned Dundee Flower and Food Festival, and I was sent the following fabulous video:

Aren’t these girls great?! I’m really sorry I didn’t get to see them perform live, as the whole ‘Saving the Humble Bumble…Part 2’ show looks like it was fantastic:

Dundee Flower and Food Festival GYB show
‘Saving the Humble Bumble … Part 2’ at Dundee Flower and Food Festival 2019

Coincidentally, the very morning of the show there had been audio of the Great Yellow Bumblebee broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House. The GYB was definitely in the air that day.

And hopefully, there will be many more GYBs in the air in Scotland thanks to the efforts of children and grown-ups such as these. Hear their plea, people, hear their plea – and HELP!

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing Poetry to Life




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