Some Osmia Sketches

The weather is still beautiful, if colder now and I am reluctant to be indoors. I spent most of the day out cycling and walking by the water, and failing miserably to get any good bee photos.

But eventually I made myself sit down with a sketch book, paints, a pencil and my models, two Osmia rufa bees. One male and one female.
Despite my best efforts to rescue, revive and release the lost bees (seven today), some have died.
I found 3 papery little bodies when we moved in, curled up on the window ledges.
As sad as this is I have to be practical and can make some studies which all helps my knowledge and understanding. And it’s a chance to pay a little homage.

osmia bee male

The males have long antennae and moustaches but are quite a bit smaller than the females.


osmias 2

Male and female Osmia rufa, casualties of .. well ….just of life… I guess.

Three days ago there were lots of males, now it seems just females are getting into the house.

I suppose they are looking for a nest site and have taken a wrong turn somewhere in the labyrinthine wall cavities.
I am trying to get back to some daily sketching after what seems like a long time.
Hopefully poco a poco, a little every day. 🙂

A Tattooed Bee?.. or two or three..

Amongst the commissions I have done recently was a little Blue Orchard bee tattoo design for Branne.
I am not going to post the design as it’s just too easy to copy and I want it to be her unique design.
But when it is finished I will ask for a skin shot!

This is not the first time I have been asked to design tattoos and bees are, quite rightly, rather popular. There was an artsy tattoo “event” in the UK late last year and I know that my friend Damian who has done so much to publicise the plight of bees at “Help Save Bees” was considering a nice discreet bumblebee.

The project was called “ExtInked”, and invited volunteers to be tattooed with one of 100 endangered plants, animals, and fungi to celebrate Darwin’s bicentennial and draw attention (no pun intended ) to the decline of species. It was a rather cool project! .. You can read all about it here at Ultimate Holding Company (UHC) .

There were a number of bee designs including the shill carder bee.  No images of the bees are available, but here is a rather nice big spider, not perhaps the choice for someone with an arachnophobic  partner.


Extinked” tattoo designs see more on the UHC site.

Bees are somewhat more appealing, to me anyway and so I am very pleased to be able to share with you the great tattoo that Christine had done, based on a couple of my mason bee paintings. It’s rather nice as she has incorporated both the Blue Orchard Bee  and the Red Orchard  Bee, Osmia lignaria and Osmia rufa Here are BOB and ROB happily buzzing around Christine’s shoulder!


Of course what we all really want to ask is, “ How much did it hurt, Christine?? “

There are lots of honey and bumblebee tattoos but it’s so nice that both Christine and Brieanne are giving the Orchard Bees a look in. Am I getting one (or two or three)?…well, maybe.  They will go well with the leathers and the very big motor bike I am thinking of getting.. 🙂