It is often said that the difference between men and boys is the size of their toys. Where does that leave Lego then? Each block is pretty small in itself, yet with skill, patience and ingenuity the blocks can come together to create something very large and quite remarkable.
Take the recent case of Ruairi O Leocháin, a schoolteacher and wildlife activist from the town of Athlone in Ireland. While some of us lounged around all day in pyjamas watching bad TV during lockdown, he had other ideas.
With time on his hands, O Leocháin decided he’d have a go at bringing to life a long-held idea of building a working beehive from Lego bricks. So he ordered as many bricks as he could find and, over the next weight weeks, slowly but surely built his beehive.
Watch a video of the beehive
Bees will add nature’s own glue
Lacking any formal plan of a beehive, he kept a “real” one nearby and used it as a template while he built his masterpiece. It is made entirely of the famous plastic bricks and the bees will subsequently add their own natural glue to the structure to keep it intact.
“What the bees will do, given enough time, is they will propolise the whole thing,” O Leocháin told the Westmeath Independent newspaper. “Propolis is a kind of glue that the bees get from trees, and with any gaps in a beehive, with any wind or air getting through, they will basically put their ‘glue’ in between to seal it up.”
The unusual beehive has certainly created a buzz with its 30,000 native Irish black bees that will increase to up to 60,000 bees at the peak of summer. O Leocháin says he’d had people from China, the US and elsewhere saying that they love the idea.
“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting such a big reaction,” he said.
Lego that just keep on rockin’
While it has amused, entertained and educated youngsters for decades, Lego has also gained a reputation for keeping a great many older “boys” out of mischief.
For example, in 2015 an enthusiast named Justin Carter build a working electric guitar from Lego bricks and showed it off at the annual Brickworld event in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the US.
The guitar took Carter about a month to build, working on and off, and even had volume-adjusting knobs. He used only standard, unmodified, Lego bricks and also didn’t use any glue to help brace the instrument’s structure.
The Lego guitar
Become a Leonardo da Vinci in Lego
Or, if you’re an artistic type, why not recreate Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa in Lego? That’s what David Howard, the Master Model Builder from Legoland Discovery Centre in Chicago did back in 2014.
See David’s Mona Lisa, and pick up some other Lego modelling tips
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