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 our
amazing bees and bats, and how to sustain them! (45 min.)
• Elementary School Assemblies
• Family Concerts
• Environmental Festivals
• Zoos & Science Museums
50% of your presenting fee
may be covered!
2019 Show schedule:
April 21st, 2pm, Seattle Children's Museum
Seattle Center House/Armory lower floor
April 27th, Noon, City of Sammamish Earth Day
May 17th, 1:30pm, Seattle Children's Museum
Seattle Center House
May 18th, 10am, West Seattle Bee Festival
High Point Commons Park, 6400 Sylvan Way SW
June 14th, 4pm, Burien King County Library
400 SW 152nd Street, Burien WA 98166
June 15th, 2pm, Seattle Children's Museum
Seattle Center House/Armory lower floor
July 18th, 10:30am, Madrona Playground
by Madrona-Sally Goldmark Library
July 26th, 1pm, Bellevue Arts Fair
575 Bellevue Square 98004
August 8th, 5:30pm Lake City Library
12501-28th Ave NE, Seattle
August 9th, 2pm Rainier Beach Library
9125 Rainier S., Seattle
August 17th, 4:15pm, Shoreline Arts Festival
Cromwell Park, 18030 Meridian Ave N, 98133
October 18th, 2:30pm, St. Luke School, Shoreline
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 University, for macro-photos of hive.
Nicole Beerman for bat choreography.
“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
Original costume for Miss Calliope Hummingbird!
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?
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!
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 or another plant that return without having to replant.)
4- People that look like me do not garden or farm. (Check out and www.blackurbangrowers.org!)
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?
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.'
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.
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:
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
Follow & add comments at
Show does not include stilting bee.
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
• Iggy's.com- HoneyBrew Kombucha!
• 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
Early videos in Bee show's development!
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.