Bee Lines

Bee Lines Through the City explores the importance and interconnectedness of bees to nature’s diverse ecosystems. Close to 75% of the world’s crops producing fruits and seeds for human consumption depend, at least in part, on pollinators for sustained production, yield and quality. Yet bees, as one of the key pollinators, are under threat from use of agrichemicals, loss of habitat, climate change and the varroa mite parasite. Through art, music, dance and crafts we’ll explore how bees relate to different aspects of the natural and human world through the food we eat, our culture and our environment. We’ll investigate how humans can support bees in the city through sustainable, local food growing and better urban planning. 

The exhibition will feature Symphony in C: A contemporary dance commission responding to new music inspired by bumblebees who vibrate at middle C to unlock pollen from plants. Featuring music by Chris Garrard, Rupert Embleton-Smith & Wildwood Kin and dance by Francesca Willow.

Get involved with our activities, we’ll be learning about: hydroponics and hand pollination (you can be the bee); making fabric dyes from local plants; making seed paper honeycomb and venturing out on pollinator corridor walks. Through our discussions and film screening we’ll be investigating how we can collectively care for the natural world and combat climate change.

1 Apr – 23 Jun // Exhibition

Tue-Thur, 11am-4pm

Sat 11th June 1-4pm. If you would like to visit the gallery on another Saturday then you may be able to book a visit, please email

How to book events: All workshops are free and suitable for adults

Craft Action Collective bookings: email

Other Bee Lines events: email

SAW relies on donations. Donate here: 

Fri 1 Apr, 6-8pm // Preview

Bring your own picnic to enjoy together and explore the exhibition.

Sat 2 Apr, 2-4pm // Powered by permaculture 

Explore the abundance of the edges in and around the SAW garden with foraging Permaculture designer Pia Castleton. Pia will invite us to ‘use edges and value the marginal’, one of the 12 Permaculture principles. Join a short foraging walk beginning and ending at the SAW garden. This event is in collaboration with Baltic and is part of Shieldfield Grows. Booking essential.

Tue 12 & 26 Apr, 6.30-8pm // Craft Action Collective: Seed paper & printing

On 12 April*, collectively create seed paper and chat about why and how we should care for the natural world as individuals and as community. On 26 April, we’ll respond to eco issues through the medium of print with Theresa Easton. Our prints will incorporate our seed paper to create a unique conversation starter.
*The 12 April session has been postponed. This session will provisionally now take place on Tuesday 14th June, 6:30 – 8pm.

Fri 29 Apr, 7-9pm // Tell it to the Bees: thinking about climate grief

Join us for an informal and in-depth discussion thinking about why care for the environment is a social justice issue, how we can collectively care for creation and what Christianity brings to the conversation. Speakers include Andii Bowsher, David Wilkinson, Hannah Malcolm, Richard Young and Rev Sarah Moon.

Wed 4 May, 10am-12pm // Hydroponics: Grow with the flow

Come and learn all about hydroponics, soilless growth of plants. We’ll learn how to ‘be the bee’ by hand pollinating plants and see how important hydroponics is in terms of local growing. This event is part of Shieldfield Grows. Booking essential.

Fri 13 May, 7-11pm // The Late Shows

A special late night exhibition opening and activities, part of Newcastle & Gateshead’s annual culture crawl: The Late Shows. Have fun contributing to our seedpaper honeycomb wall, add to the bees stamped on the gallery wall (we’re aiming to represent 25,000 bee species) and create your own seed pod to grow wildflowers around Newcastle and beyond.

Fri 27 May, 7-9pm // Kiss the Ground screening & permaculture dance performance 

A screening of the incredible film Kiss the Ground which reveals that, by regenerating the world’s soils, we can completely and rapidly stabilise the Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems and create abundant food supplies. Dance artist Francesca Willow will also perform a piece inspired by permaculture. A short time of Q&A and discussion with professionals in the field will follow the dance and film. Light refreshments available. Booking essential. 

Tue 10 & 24 May, 6.30-8pm // Craft Action Collective: Dyes from plants

On 10 May, we’ll make inks and dyes using plants commonly recognised as weeds. On 24 May, we’ll block print and paint napkins with our plant-based dyes. Using natural patterns and colours attractive to bees, we’ll explore bees’ connection to the food we eat and how best to protect them. Facilitated by artist Katie Pollard.

Wed 1 June, 10am-12pm // Born to Bee Wild

Come and learn about sustainable and pollinator friendly gardening. This event is part of Shieldfield Grows. Booking essential.

Sat 11 June, 2-3.30pm // B-Line walks 

A one hour walk around Shieldfield with specialists in pollinators from Northumbria University. We’ll learn about B-lines (a nationally mapped network of existing and potential wildflower habitats that criss-cross the country) and pollination corridors (a pathway that will offer continuous habitat and forage to vulnerable native species). Booking essential. 

Fri 24 June, 4-8pm // Garden opening celebration 

Come and celebrate all the hard work that’s gone into further developing our garden space. With new trees, planting areas and gathering spaces, we’ll be able to grow, cook and share food together in a calming space. In the long term the garden will continue to be a community space for hospitality, art, discussions and activism. All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. 

Craft activities and light refreshments, 4-5pm

A feast created from our garden produce, 5-6pm

Speeches and grand opening, 6-6.30pm

Live music, 6.30-8pm