Playful busy bees, bee bus stops, Iran climber, COP 27, green funeral procession

Nov 9, 2022 Episode 124

Busy bees like to play too, UK’s bumblebee bus stop, Iran climber ditches hijab, COP 27 explained, French green funeral procession

Episode Transcript



LEELA: This week – busy bees aren’t all work and no play, bumble bee bus stop, earth summit and eco-friendly… funeral processions. Yep!

OPENING STING – LEELA: “Hey, hey, hey. Listen up. New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”


LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – the news pool for curious kids and adults!

I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and, as ever, I’m joined by the big story explainer and sound effects finder – otherwise known as my… mama!

MAMA: Hello, hello. I’m Lyndee Prickitt.

This week…

Have you heard all the buzz about busy bees that like to do more than make honey?

Or what about the bus stops in the UK built for bees?

Plus, do you know what COP27 is? We’ll tell ya. Hint – it’s nothing to do with police officers or parties, but air, trees and ice.

And, speaking of the environment, a French environmentalist offers an eco-friendly solution to… funeral processions.


LEELA: OK – let’s go – first up is…

BIG NEWS STORY STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The big news story of the week!”

MAMA:  Have you ever been on your way to lunch – and you’re pretty hungry too but you see a big shiny object that’s just you’re just gotta stop and play with it?

LEELA: Yeah, like a big bright bouncy ball, a big one too that you wanna roll over like your mom’s yoga ball you’re not really supposed to play with but you do.

MAMA: Ahemmm! Yes, well, if so…

LEELA: You are not the only one!


MAMA: Believe it or not scientists have found that bumblebees do the same thing.

LEELA: They play! Just like we mammals do. And birds too, did you know that?!

MAMA: Well, according to a paper on the findings published in the journal Animal Behavior, researchers presented evidence that bumblebees, like humans, like to play with fun little objects.

LEELA: So, how did they figure out all this bumbling around?

MAMA: The researchers watched as 45 bees found their way through two distinct pathways to a food. The first path was a direct shot.

LEELA: Nothing in the way, right?

MAMA: Right. But the second path had twists and turns and…

LEELA: Balls!

MAMA: Yes, small bright yellow wooden balls. Every single bumbling bee left the direct path, preferring to take the fun path with the balls which they tapped and turned some just once, some over a hundred times!

LEELA: Woa – if I did that on the way to the cafeteria, I’d get in trouble.

MAMA: Yes, but if it was PE or recess and you were allowed to play it’d be OK. Because we know play is good for us.

LEELA: Yep, never knew it was a thing with bees. I thought they were, you know, “busy bees.”

MAMA: Researchers said this shows these bugs may actually experience some kind of positive emotional states, like joy or pleasure, like other larger fluffy and the not so fluffy animals also do.

LEELA: But that’s not the only un-bee-livable news we have today, is it?

MAMA: No, it isn’t. For this story we need to head over to Maya Bull, our Middle of England correspondent.

LEELA: Alright. Take it away, Maya!

MAYA: The United Kingdom is buzzzzing over bee stops!

OK, you’re probably wondering, what is a BEE STOP, right?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Humans count on bees and other insects, like butterflies, to help grow plants – from flowers to trees, and even crops.


Well, when insects visit flowers, they collect pollen – that’s the yellow powder in the centre of most flowers.

Without bees and other insects taking pollen from one flower to another, many plants would not produce seeds or grow fruits and vegetables!

Yes, that would be bad news!

Well, sadly, these “pollinators” are slowly dying out!

Insect numbers here in the United Kingdom have reduced by 50% since 1970!

Enter: the bee stops – bus stops with rooftop gardens filled with flowers and plants that attract bees and butterflies!

The little gardens can also help to slightly lower city temperatures.

Cool or what?


In the middle of England, I’m Maya Bull, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: Thank you so much, Maya, for giving us all the “buzz” in England!

[SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/24/bus-shelter-roofs-turned-into-gardens-for-bees-butterflies-aoe]

[SOURCE: https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/bumble-bees-like-to-play-just-for-fun

Bumblebees Like Playing With Toys: See What That Looks Like – CNET]

MAMA: And now – remember the story about the hijab protest in Iran? Well, we have an update.

TOP-UP TIME STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “Go on give me a top up, please? It’s top-up time. Top-up time! Top-up time! Top-up time! Top-up time! Top-up time! Now? Yeah, now. It’s top-up time.”

MAMA: This is a top-up to our Iran story in our 120th episode a few weeks ago. More Than 1,000 people are indicted over the protests against women wearing the hijab – or headscarf – in Iran’s capital, Tehran.

LEELA: In-whated?

MAMA: Ah, indicted means to officially charge somebody with a crime.

LEELA: Oh, phew! I thought you meant 1000 people had been killed.

MAMA: Well, sadly we don’t know how many people have died sacrificing their lives to demand equal freedoms for women in Iran in what is the biggest challenges to its religious rulers since 1979, when there was a revolution that put the Muslim clerics in charge.

LEELA: But there is some good news too, right?

MAMA: A woman rock climber from Iran, Elnaz Rekabi, wasn’t sporting a hijab but a mighty will when she competed in an international rock climbing in South Korea.

LEELA: She wasn’t wearing her headscarf – isn’t that required the Iranian Republic of its female athletes?

MAMA: Yep, but she didn’t! And videos are going viral of large crowds at the airport who greeted her when she came back.

LEELA: That’s one brave woman, that’s for sure!!

MAMA: Yep. And the country is full of them!

[SOURCE: https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/more-than-1-000-indicted-over-anti-hijab-protests-in-irans-tehran-3500415


MAMA: Now… Have you had your say about children’s podcasting? Well, don’t you think you’d better?

LEELA: And when she says you – she means your and/OR your parents.

MAMA: Yes, we’re talking about the Kids Listen survey. In case you didn’t know Kids Listen is the terrific children’s podcasting network that we’re proud to be a part of.

LEELA: She’s on the board!

MAMA: It’s a grassroots network of indie podcasters who are passionate about making audio content for kids.

LEELA: Like us!


LEELA: Hence the survey.

MAMA: Let’s cut across to our new chairperson of the board for more.

MELLY FROM KIDS LISTEN: (not transcribed)

LEELA: Thanks, Melly!

MAMA: SO, please, please take five minutes, head to Kidslisten.org and let your views be heard!

WORLD WRAP STING – LEELA: “What’s that? I’ll tell you what. That’s the halftime bell! Which means… It’s time to hear what’s making news around the rest of the world. Hold on tight, it’s around the world in 80 seconds.” 

MAMA: Millions of ballots are being counted in the US midterm election. But as of the recording of this podcast control of Congress still hangs in the balance, in other words it could go either way. Both the Republicans and Democrats have had victories, but it’s going to come down to each vote before we know for sure.

Tensions increase in the Middle East after Israel has its fifth election in four years returning the former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power thanks to a coalition, as in a partnership, he formed with right-wing, religious parties.

In Italy archaeologists unearth 24 beautifully preserved bronze statues believed to date back to ancient Roman times. The statues thought to be 2,300 years old were found under an ancient bathhouse in the region of Tuscany.

And, thanks to some odd animal poo found inside a small church in England one of the rarest bats in the UK has been found after analysing the excrement. Yes, the grey long-eared bat is now on record attending church in Somerset.

LEELA: You know what I’m going to say……….

MAMA: Oh, yes, I do.

LEELA: Thank you so much for that whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap of what’s making headlines elsewhere in the world, Mama.

MAMA: Anytime, Leela.

NATURE STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The call of nature. Get on your safari suit. Or squeeze into your scuba gear. And get ready to hop into a jeep. Or submarines. Submarine. Because Mother Nature is calling! Nature.” 

MAMA: Well, this is a nature story kinda-sorta.

LEELA: What, it’s all about nature?!

MAMA: Ok, the environment.

LEELA: That’s what I’d call nature. Saving it, that is.

MAMA: Yes, world leaders and environment ministers and secretaries of state are all gathering in Egypt for COP 27.

LEELA: Ooohh Egypt, And, no, we’re not talking about a conference of police officers or cops.

MAMA: Nope. COP is an acronym, which means it stands for: the Conference of the Parties.

LEELA: But it’s not really “that” kind of party, sadly.

MAMA:  Well, there are around 25,000 delegates gathering to discuss climate change and how to fight it. It’s a mostly annual event that started in 1995 and this will be the 27th.

LEELA: Hence the name – COP27. Ta daaah!

MAMA: You may remember it was a BIG deal last year.

LEELA: That would be COP26.

MAMA: When delegates met in Glasgow Scotland.

LEELA: To basically figure out how to stop the earth warming up.

MAMA: At least enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Sadly, this year’s event isn’t getting as much attention as last year. Perhaps because not as many commitments to clean up the problem actually came out of the meeting last year. And now the worry is that the impact of Russia’s war with Ukraine is diverting much-needed money, never mind, attention away from COP 27.

LEELA: But we can always hope.

MAMA: And – do our own thing, like stop single-use plastic folks! In fact did you hear that a man from Australia built a giant pyramid in the Egyptian desert made out of rubbish

LEELA: Well, that’s the place to build a pyramid. But plastic?

MAMA: Yep – and it’s something! He’s to highlight how much wasteful single-use plastic the world uses and how bad it is for the environment. Check out that picture.

LEELA: There’s a link in our transcript!





MAMA: And finally, we always like to head to our special lucky dip machine to see what story it wants us to end on this week.

ODDBALL STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “Step right up, step right up… Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? An oddball, no doubt!”

LEELA: Well, we just heard about an Australian man who built a pyramid out of plastic to bring awareness to the environment.

MAMA: We sure did.

LEELA: Well, a Parisian undertaker is doing her bit too.


LEELA: Yes, a French funeral director and environmentalist hopped on her bicycle and peddled around Paris pulling – not a cart of flowers – but attached to the front of the bike, pushing a carriage containing a coffin.


LEELA: Well, it was empty. But she was hoping to draw attention to the fact that there can be a

“green” – or more environmentally friendly – way of conducting funerals in France.

MAMA: Oh, as in not using a car as a hearse – which is the vehicle that transports a coffin to the graveyard – but a… bicycle.

LEELA: Yes. So there’s been a big push in Paris to get more people on their bikes. They call it “soft mobility.” She said on a sombre, or sad occasion, like a funeral, using “soft mobility” makes more sense.

MAMA: Really?

LEELA: Because everyone walks at the same pace behind a bicycle hearse, they can hear the sounds of nature and feel part of a final procession. Driving is just too fast. Never mind not very green, she says.

MAMA: A pedestrian funeral procession – the last march – kinda makes sense to me, actually. But you know in India many people still do this, though they carry the coffin and walk through the deceased’s neighbourhood, both in the villages and the cities. It’s a kind of way of announcing a death and letting any and every one join in and mourn together.

LEELA: Now there’s a green reason for doing it too. In fashionable Paris, no less.

FAB FACTS STING – LEELA: “And it’s time to wrap up the podcast with the top five fab facts heard today. Here goes…”

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 1 – The roofs of bus stops are being turned into gardens for bees and butterflies to help spread seeds and pollinate more plants. What is pollen?

The yellow powder in the center of most flowers

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – More than 1,000 people are indicted over the protests against women wearing the hijab – or headscarf in Iran’s capital, Tehran. What does indicted mean?

Officially charge somebody with a crime

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – COP27, the climate change conference taking place in Egypt, has begun. What does COP stand for?

Conference of the Parties.

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – And what year was the first COP held?


MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – A Parisian undertaker hopes to introduce a bicycle hearse to funeral processions in France. What is a hearse?

A vehicle that transports a coffin to the graveyard

And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on, then go to the Lucky Dip page of our website,  newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and take this quiz online in your own time!

LEELA: (in robot voice) I repeat – pool-o-o-z-i dot com. And that brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi! But first…


LEELA: If you enjoyed this dip in the coolest pool of news and information then HIT that subscribe button on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Alexa or wherever you get your podcasts.

MAMA: While you’re at it… Give us a good rating. Or better still, leave us a review! Go on – we’ll read it out loud if you do…

LEELA: Alrighty then, see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!