Bee Trading Cards were created as part of the Bumble Domicile exhibit.

Bee Trading Cards, Series 1 (24 cards) are sold through The Pollinator Partnership at their online shop.

Resonating Bodies Bee Trading Cards explore the lives of native bees through “superpowers”, “lifestyles”, “copycats” and “meet the bees” series. The cards feature macro photography and colour-coded DNA barcode snippets of some local bumble bee, leaf cutter (Megachile) and mason bee (Osmia) species. DNA barcode snippets  – which are short sequences of mitochondrial DNA translated into coloured stripes – form the border of cards of specific bees and can be visually compared to one another by aligning the cards. These DNA bardcodes serve as a metaphor for biodiversity and evolving strategies of pollinators, and by extension, of all living things. They also reflect our ability to perceive and better understand, with the aid of technology, some genetic aspects local biodiversity – reflected in native pollinators whom we can also observe in the habitats around us (more at About colour-coded DNA barcodes).

Check out our Bee Trading Card Gallery to see all of the cards in Series 1. We also have a gallery of each of the colour-coded DNA barcodes of the solitary and social bees featured, which you can download and compare!

Series 1 cards feature local bees which we highlighed in 2008 activities: Bumble Domicile exhibit and the Pink Condo observation bee box  (our data gathering site for what became Window Mini-Gallery).  These cards nicely cross-reference with A Guide to Toronto’s Pollinators and The Bees of Toronto (at Resources), and a visit in person to one of several solitary bee viewing installations in Ontario (detailed at Audio Bee Booths; “Pink Condo” is now located at the Royal Botanical Gardens).  This series includes only a handful of the 200+ species of bees which live within a 2 hour radius of Toronto. Honey bees are not not included, as we are focusing on native pollinators (explained at Bee Biodiversity).

Bee Trading Cards are sold via Pollinator Partnership online shop. They’re available in versions which reference Eastern North America and Eastern Canada (the content is identical). An original art-science collaboration, they’re a hit  with all ages!

View or download this 1-page PDF about the Bee Trading Cards.

Your comments and ideas about creative ways for using the cards with young people ages 5 to 19 and invited at Comments & Discussion.

Trading Card Credits

Trading Card Credits Claudia Ratti, Packer Lab, York University – macro bee images.  Amro Zayed (cards 15 and 17 ) and Rob Cruickshank (cards 10, 19, 20 and 21) – images of live bees.  The Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) – colour-coded DNA barcodes.  Anneli West – graphic design. Jessamyn Manson – text.  Kevin Steele – text/image assembly.  Some trading card text includes excerpts from “The Bee Genera of Eastern Canada, Canadian Journal of Anthropod Identification” (CJAI 03 September 25, 2007) by Laurence Packer*, Julio A. Genaro** and Cory S. Sheffield*** York University Department of Biology, Toronto, ON, Canada. Sarah Peebles – concept.  Photographs and text excerpts used with permission. ©2008,2009 All rights reserved

Have a question, feedback or an idea you want to share for using bee trading cards with young people (with curriculum, art projects, games, etcetera?

Comments are open here.

One thought on “Bee Trading Cards

  1. and to add to the Buzz, this poem:

    Last Light

    Wasps and bumblebees scheming for nectar
    dip and swim through the haze, yellow and
    black, carrying home their burden of pollen.

    Seasons have their hues: ours is sun-steeped
    translucence lit from within till it brims over.

    Females dun beside their bolder mates, gold-
    finch cross the sky in graceful loops of liquid

    flight and song, sway on green fronds that bow
    under light weight to the doctrine of signatures.

    River carp leap and fall, rippling circles the stream.
    Like calls to like through bright air before sunset.

    Celebrating Ceres, celebrating Demeter, goldenrod
    scimitars flash solid arabesques of late summer, late

    afternoon, late in our lives for such luminous entrance.

    Penn Kemp

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