Newcastle University’s Great North Museum: Hancock will be buzzing on Saturday when it hosts a fun day dedicated to bees.

Visitors can meet beekeepers, take part in a treasure hunt and walk into a prototype ‘hive’ installation that uses thermal imaging and sound to imagine the hidden aspects of life inside a bee colony.

Bees are sometimes maligned, but without them our world would be a very different place. Honey bees are the world’s most important pollinator of crops. It is estimated that one third of the food we consume relies on bee pollination and in addition, bees are thought to contribute over £500m to the UK economy each year.

Michael McHugh, event producer at Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums, said: "The importance of bees in our world is sadly overlooked. This event will be a fantastic opportunity to discover more about our relationship with them and how important they are for the food we eat.

"It will also be a way for us to find out how apiculture monitoring (beekeeping) can influence our museum data collection and interpretation."

Members of the Tyneside Beekeepers Association and Newcastle University Students’ Union BeeSoc will be at the museum on Saturday, alongside researchers from both Newcastle and Northumbria universities. Other community groups and makers will man stalls and activities on the theme of bees.

Meanwhile, artist and chair of Tyneside Beekeepers Association Barbara Keating, in collaboration with Newcastle University Open Lab researcher Sara Nabil Ahmed, will be testing a prototype immersive hive experience that people can enter.

The ‘hive’ will use sonifications of data collected via the Arnia hive monitoring system located around Newcastle and thermal imaging captured from a beehive in the later stages of winter to provide a unique interpretation of life inside a bee colony.

The event is supported by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums’ TNT (Try New Things) Action Research programme and produced in collaboration with Tyneside Beekeepers Association and Newcastle University Open Lab with additional support from FLIR Systems, the world's largest commercial company specialising in the design and production of thermal imaging cameras, components and imaging sensors.