Telling Bees


Oil or biro and watercolour


'The telling of the bees is a traditional European custom, in which bees would be told of important events in their keeper's lives. If the custom was omitted or forgotten and the bees were not "put into mourning" then it was believed a penalty would be paid, such as the bees might leave their hive, stop producing honey, or die.'


I began these portraits of bee specimens working with the Cambridge Museum of Zoology bicentenary celebration of Darwin's birth.