Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Last Chance!

My exhibition Diligent Observation finishes at Yorkshire Sculpture Park this Sunday 3rd July - so this is the last chance to see it!

It's in the Garden Gallery and it's free entry.


It's a bit weird that after so long on the residency researching bees and then making and exhibiting the work, the project is coming to an end.

But, even though the project is over, i will continue to follow bees, try and identify them and look at the plants they feed on. This project has sparked an interest that i know will continue for the rest of my life - I have learned so much in the past year - but there is so much more to learn and discover.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Bombus hypnorum

When my housemate came home from work last night he mentioned there was a bee on our path outside and maybe it was dead.

I went out to take a look with the possibility of collecting it, but found that it was just a bit reluctant to move, maybe it had just emerged or was generally hanging about.
Seeing that it was so lethargic i took the opportunity to take some shots of it with my lovely camera.

It's a Bombus hypnorum - Tree Bumblebee. A newly found species in UK in 2000, that has been expanding it's range since then. My Edwards and Jenner field guide to bumblebees says:

"Queens, workers and males: head black, thorax tawny to dark-brown, abdomen black with white tail"

If you're even remotely interested in bumblebees you have to get the Edwards and Jenner book. ISBN 9780954971311

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Bee Photography

I was at Lake Constance (Konstanz) yesterday luxuriating in the sunshine by the clear water.

While watching the view i kept noticing bees flying to just under where i was into a little bank at the bottom of the garden before the lake shore...

On closer inspection i saw a hole in the bank and bees flying in and out - a bumblebee nest.

While being constantly hassled by two grumbling swans, i stood motionless for at least 15 Chesney minutes* to get these wonderful shots of bees going in and coming out of the nest. I am particularly proud of the bee coming out of the nest shot and am considering entering it into the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

* Equivalent to about 90 seconds in real time

Friday, 10 June 2011

Bee Things

My friends often collect and give me bee related objects because of this project:

Geoff gave me a beer bottle top with a bumblebee on at the opening event of Diligent Observation

Thomas saved the box from
Christmas tree candles made from bees wax (they put real candles on real Christmas trees in Germany - the health and safety types would have heart attacks if we had that tradition here)
Paula sent me a cute piece of ribbon with bumblebees on
And Helen spotted the "Pollinated with..." sign on the side of a box that contained cut roses.

Thursday, 2 June 2011


Blue [blOO] (fig) miserable

Blue is for misery

I went to YSP on monday and tuesday as it was an event day for the Bee Project - and even though it poured down during monday daytime YSP was really packed with visitors.

I was happy for the rain as the two meadow test plots are in desperate need of water - both the blue and yellow plots are looking a bit bare.

I spent the evening on monday comparing which species are coming up with what I want to come up (two very different lists). I counted 9 species of the yellow plants i wanted and 8 blue species - but putting that into context i also counted 24 species of weed on the yellow plot and 14 species of weed on the blue plot.

Anyway - the cornflowers are looking good and there is some Borage Borago officinalis coming into flower too (images above).

I also got a nice shot of a Red-tailed Bumblebee B.lapidarius asleep on some chives (not on the plot - the wrong colour).