Credit Peter Shaw Photography
". . . so incredibly appropriate and relevant. Thanks so much for developing a play that is both entertaining, engaging and informative!"
- Tracy Rathke, St. Luke School teacher
Ella Bella Bee & the Pollinators
A funny, educational musical about pollinators and food. Colorful costumes, dance,
interactive songs and comedy focus on bees, hummingbirds and bats, and how to sustain them! Alliteration, puns, & rhymes abound! (45 min.)
• Elementary School Assemblies
• Family Concerts
• Environmental Festivals
• Zoos & Science Museums
50% of your presenting fee
may be covered!
Found useful, entertaining learning tools here?
Can tip our Venmo: @janet-rayor
2020 Show Schedule so far. . .
Jan. 2nd, 1:30pm Si View-Meadowbrook Farm
Jan. 3rd, 1pm, Jefferson Community Center
Jan. 16th, 3:30pm, Sylvester Middle School
Jan. 31st, 9:30am, Mountlake Terrace Elem.
Feb. 6th, 11am, Richmond Beach Library
Sorry, shows are cancelled thru' September due to pandemic.
April 23rd, 2pm, Enumclaw Library
1700 1st St, Enumclaw, WA 98022
April 24th, 11am, Shoreline Library
345 NE 175th St, Shoreline, WA 98155
April 25th, 11:30am, Earth Day-City Sammamish
with percussionist Don Dietrich
2600 244th Ave SE, Sammamish, WA 98075
April 25th, 3:30pm, Kent Library
212 2nd Ave N, Kent, WA 98032
April 30th, 1:45pm, St. Francis Assisi Elem.
15216- 21st Ave SW, Burien, 98166
May 1st, 2pm, Giddens School
2120 21st Ave S, Seattle, 98144
May 4th, 11am, Algona-Pacific Library
255 Ellingson Rd, Pacific, WA 98047
May 6th, 10:30am, Valley View Library
17850 Military Rd S, SeaTac, WA 98188
May 8th, 11am, Newcastle Library
12901 Newcastle Way, Newcastle, WA 98056
May 9th, 12 & 2pm, Marysville Opera House
1225 3rd St, Marysville, WA 98270
July 15th, 11:30am, Fremont Library
731 N 35th St, Seattle, WA 98103
August 15th, 4:15m, Celebrate Shoreline!
with percussionist Don Dietrich
18030 Meridian Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133
Nov. 8th, 2pm & 4pm, Marysville Opera House
1225 3rd St, Marysville, WA 98270
Credit Peter Shaw © 2020
Much thanks to:
Dr. Cole Gilbert of Cornell University
for fact-checking show and
Inventor Kim David Hall,
for knuckles of 24 flying bees
springing flowers and hummingbird.
Dr. Kevin Loope of Georgia State Univ.,
for macro-photos of hive.
“Show is charged with energy and useful information while being perfectly aimed at her target audience. . . impressed with how the kiddos and parents were equally spellbound throughout the entire performance.”
~ Karen Howe, President Sammamish Friends
Follow-up after show:
What did you learn from show?
1) Why do people need pollinators?
2) Why do pollinators pollinate?
3) How can you avoid being stung?
4) What do bats eat that humans hate and get sick from?
6) Give examples of fruits and vegetables that depend on pollinators to exist?
7) Which pollinator eats crop-destroying beetles?
8) What are two cost-saving ways to grow some food?
9) What jobs do female honey bees have?
10) Do male bees stay in the hive over winter?
11) What is honey good for?
12) How do bees communicate?
13) What kind of things do they communicate?
14) How do you attract hummingbirds?
15) What do you need NOT to do so that hummingbirds can survive?
16) What can you use to treat a mild but painful reaction to a sting?
17) Which directions can hummingbirds fly?
18) What kind of fruits do bats pollinate?
19) What do you use if you have a serious reaction to a sting?
20) How do bats find insects in the dark?
21) What can you do to help bats survive?
22) What are hurting bee populations?
23) What can we do to help them survive?
24) How can one grow food even in a little way?
25) Where can you grow food?
26) Which is better for bees--one kind of flower or several types?
27) Do all bats drink blood?
28) What do bats do with their inner ears when they shriek?
29) Is it okay to go into bat caves?
Post comments & actions you are taking at:
Keep scrolling for STEAM Lessons below!
Pre-show art projects - Make backdrop for show!
Make batiks, drawings, paper mache, and paintings of pollinators and flowers.
Attach art by simple clothes-line set-up.
Decision making and brain-storming solutions:
1-Mom says the water bill is too high to water plants. How can you still get water? (Bucket water as it is heating up for shower, re-use water from washing vegetables and fruits in a pot, gather rain water in a bucket.)
2-Organic plants at a nursery are too expensive. What do you do? (Reuse plastic yogurt containers by punching holes in bottom, share cost of seeds with a friend and start seedlings inside. Buy a packet of 4 plants and share cost with 2-4 friends.)
3-No time for a garden. (Plant one plant. Plant strawberries, sorrel, leeks, potatoes, rhubarb, perennial spinach, or another plant that return without needing to replant.)
5- What else can I do to save pollinators?
• Slovenia is saving Bees-video!
• Amsterdam is bringing back Bees-video
• See Amazing Facts hand-out below!
Science and Math questions:
1) Which fruits and vegetables can you think of that need bees/pollinators in order to have fruit?
(Possible answers: cherries, grapes, watermelon, coconuts, nectarines, peaches, apples, kiwi, pears, limes, lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, currants, pomegranates, apricots, oranges, squash, pumpkin, tomatoes, eggplants, chilis, peas, cocoa, coffee beans, beans, cucumbers, peppers, avocado.) (Banana, mango, papaya-bats)
2) Which other plants need bees to help make seeds for next years' plants?
(Possible answers: Broccoli, carrots, leeks, kale, swiss chard, cabbage, beets, wheat)
3) There are nearly 1000 species of bats. Only 3 species feed on blood, mainly cattle blood. Approximately how many species do not drink blood?
4) 70% of bats eat insects, so what percentage do not eat bugs?!
5) Brown bats, the most common bat here in the Northwest, are in their mother's tummies for 2 months. Other bats stay in their mothers for 10 months before being born. What is the difference in their gestational period?
6) If boy bees—drones--are only 2% of the hive population, how many boys are in
one bumblebee hive of 600?
one honeybee hive of 50,073?
7) Bats usually only have one pup a year. The pup drinks it's mother's milk for about 6 months. How many months of the year does the mother not have a bat baby weaning?
Download hand-out below for ideas what you can do to help pollinators:
Credit Peter Shaw Photography
Janet Rayor & Clayton Murray met as members of acoustic band Rouge.
Rayor is an avid gardener and concerned environmentalist. She created shows, taught & performed as an Artist-in-Residence through Colorado Arts & Humanities, Young Audiences, and 4Culture's Touring Roster. She won a Comedy-in-Performance scholarship through Movement Theatre Intl. and toured nationally dancing on stilts.
Talented and funny pro, stride pianist Clayton Murray, has performed in Australia, Japan, and around the Northwest including Moisture Festival and PantoTheatre. A serious, life-long full-time musician, this show allows his great comic side freedom!
Songs cover a range of education:
1) Ella Bella Bee & the Pollinators- We need pollinators for food to ripen and they need us to keep them healthy.
2) Leave Me Bee (video link)- Avoid being stung & what to do should you get stung!
3) Sister Bees - Bee sisters & their few drone brothers, children of the Queen bee their mother, their chores and lifecycle.
4) Apis Mellifera – Honey's anti-bacterial properties that are still being used in modern medicine. (Medi-honey applied at a regular doctor's office helped heal my Dad's wound!)
5) Little Bees - Bees survival is being threatened & some ways to help save them.
6) Tango Buzz (lyrics)- Bee dances & what they communicate.
7) Garden Fairy – Hummingbirds skills & how to attract them without hurting them.
8) Clean Flying Machine - How bats help cut down on insects & pollinate fruits.
9) Bat Habitat - Ways to help save bats.
10 ) I Need a Garden - Simple ways to grow food even in small areas, grass strips, or pots.
1) Alliteration is when you repeat a beginning consonant sound
in a sentence. It is a great way to start writing poems or lyrics.
A-"Who wins the most dancers when they perform,
waggled the best answer, n' leads the whole swarm!
B-"I got the buzzin' bee blues, it's a bitter battle I didn't choose."
C-"If food is far I figure-eight, round dance when near!"
Try starting with lots of alliteration for fun, like "Peter piper picked a pickled pepper!"
2) Lots of songs rhyme the last word of the sentence.
Come up with a new phrases to rhyme with these ones from the hummingbird's song:
"I zip round when I fly, like a helicopter hover"
The last words needs to rhyme with 'fly' and 'hover.'
Some favorite books:
Nature's Little Wonders: Bee by Candace Savage- 5th grade+, funny and wonderfully informative.
Honey Bees by Deborah Heiligman, excellent 8+
Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: a Scientific Mystery
by Sandra Markle (2015)
Case of the Vanishing Honey Bees by Sandra Markle (2014)
Hummingbirds by Melissa Gish – photos & info fantastic
Zipping Zapping Zooming Bats by Ann Earle, 1st grade+
Bats by Sophie Lockwood, The Childs World
Some favorite videos:
Slovenia is saving Bees-video
Amsterdam is bringing back Bees-video
Other excellent science videos from Cornell University, where my famous entomologist sister, Linda Rayor, teaches outreach are at this link. She has appeared on Discovery Channel, NPR, and is now opening a major spider exhibit at Toronto Natural History Museum!
Ella-Bella Bee at March for Science
Show does not include stilting bee.
1-Sing and play pollinator themed songs prior to show day.
You might include 'Be my little baby bumble bee,'
' Honeysuckle Rose,' 'Flight of the bumble bee.'
2-Listen to a recorded song from Ella-Bella.
Sing along with the chorus.
Super articles, webinars, & photos!
Amazing images of bee hives!
Article about bee-killing Asian Hornets. Good news that the hornet seems to be eradicated in Washington State. Great identification instructions and pics!
Saving elephants from harm by angry farmers. . .bees to the rescue!
The Xerces Society hosts webinars for adults on pollinators:
Follow & add comments at
Early videos in Bee show's development!
by Peter Shaw
Greater Seattle bee industries & educational programs
Let me know others!
Honey, mead (alcoholic drink), honey vinegar, kombucha, candles.
• JuliasGoodMedicine.com -yummy raw honey with herbal infusions & healing salves!
• HierophantMeadery.com/(509) 294-0134/Univ. Farmers Market
• Wild Bird Unlimited- Mason bees, bat houses, hummingbird feeders, 15858 1st Ave S, Burien, WA 98148/ (206) 241-3201
• After-school and summer camp programs about gardening for 9-14 year olds in Seattle area: http://greenplatespecial.org.
• Summer camp programs Woodland Park Zoo
Ella-Bella Bee & the Pollinators is excellent for: elementary school assemblies, environmental shows, educational shows, family concerts,
family entertainment, science assemblies, science educational shows, festival family stages, museums, libraries, and zoos, especially in Seattle, Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, Edmonds, Everett, Washington state and Colorado.
45 minutes with optional Q&A.
Script and score may be available for purchase in 2021.