Friday, 2 July 2010

Polliner and the Pollinaters

A while ago I became a member of the highly esteemed etsy team Artisan Gallery. It is a peer vetted team and the standards and workmanship are high so I was honoured.

The team has a blog that publishes a good varitiey of articles about the team members and currently we are celebrating the honey bee with Roxana from Illuminated Perfume leading the way.

Roxana is a perfume maker and she wrote an article for etsy's blog The Storque called Hollistic Beekeeping. She tells a captivating and romantic story of how bees came to inspire her and then be a part of her life.
Roxana sells her exquisite scents in small pots so that you can sample the many different aromas on offer before purchasing a larger, longer lasting size. I love these small pots, what a delicate pink colour and shape and the bee seal on the lids are perfect! The wax inside is from her own hive!

Those little pots above contain solid perfume and if you'd rather have a liquid aswell then this sample collection contains both and has beautiful packaging too!
Not long after Roxana began searching about bees and beekeeping she soon found Kirk Anderson and his group Backward Beekeepers and their ethos of chemical free beekeeping.

I like to think that all of our problems we currently experience today are caused by the use and misuse of chemicals and the desire to control everything and every living species that 'comes in our way'. It is a sad state to be in and I'm glad to read about all the people working so hard with nature to be chemical free, and organic.

My online news provider of choice is the Guardian, as they are more animal friendly than the other broadsheets and I always open on their Environment page.
Today I was surprised as I browsed thru their weekly 'The Week in Wildlife' to see a bee with a tiny radio ID tag on it. (photo is copyright Andrew Martin/BBSRC/PA).

It is part of a study being held called The Insect Pollinators Initiative at a cost of £10 million and the article talks about chemicals and pesticides affecting the brains of pollinaters.
I would think the study may prove the point (eventually and maybe with unnecessary dissection of bees and interference of bee wave lengths and signals by the tiny transmitters) but I think the £10 million would be better off establishing a solid base of organic chemical free bee colonies through out the UK.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to move forward in the most positive way and not to waste time or money trying to prove that what is already happening is bad.
After all - once a conclusion is reached I am sure the outcome pronounced shall be 'chemical free beekeeping is the way forward £10million study reveals...'

As part of the celebration of bees I made Baby Hare Polliner.

Polliner has a way with bees and mama can’t remember exactly when it began but the bees were magically drawn to him.
She would come to feed him and he’d be covered in pollen and sometimes the bees left their full pollen sacs on him too!
Goodness! Ofcourse little Polliner always took them to the hive after mama had carefully pulled them off his fur and the workers thanked him – they had many young mouths to feed!
Polliner has already started his own hive on a tree. A queen came to him one day and asked if there was a safe place for her swarm.
The hive is very busy and growing rather fast but Queen always makes time to come out and say hello to him and then they always sit down and share a small pot of royal jelly.
The workers were concerned that they may be getting a king but Polliner has assured them that he is far too young to marry.
Polliner is hoping to add more hives round about and Queen is busy laying special eggs on top of the honey combs for Princesses to emerge.
Polliner hopes that you may have a suitable tree in your garden for his friends so he can visit with them every day?

I like to make sure that all my soft sculptures have positive happy stories and many of them carry important messages. Sometimes the voice of a small friendly animal is listened to more attentively than a person harping on (and on and on... as I sometimes do!)
Many artists celebrate the bees too, in their unique ways.

Above is a Golden Honey Bee Ring with Citrine by Kathi. I love the combination of silver and gold together - the smallest alchemist on your finger! Kathi is in the Artisan Gallery team too.

This is a Honey Pearls bracelet by Lisa who is in the Artisan Gallery team. I love the soft brown pearls, so lustrous!

This is a Honey Scarflette/Neckwarmer by Ale, also in our team. The softness of the fibres and the flower brooch are so inviting! I can feel it keeping me snug right now.

And this is a Tribal Necklace of Oxidised Silver and Bronze with Fresh Water Pearls by Marie. Such a statement piece! and I love the colour and irregular shape of these pearls. Marie is in the Artisan gallery team also.

Also inspired by bees is Martha and Eve from the team aswell with their Bees Honey Comb Cuffs in Aplaca Wool. These look so soft and luxurious! Cuffs are a very affordable luxury.

and this small drinking vessel is a Handmade Pottery Tumbler in Golden Yellow with Red Interior and Bumble Bee by Diana, who is a member of the Artisan gallery team. I really like how the bee sits inside a plain circle with the speckled exterior and the hair on the bee's legs is visible. A lovely treat!

this is a delightful necklace by mother/daughter team Esther and Estella called 'Honey and the Bee - Vintage Enamel Flowers and Ceramic Bee Necklace'. Also part of the Artisan gallery team. There is something very special about vintage enamel flowers and I love the colours in this combination.

and this is Gizzy modelling a Crocheted Bumble Bee Costume by Doris. Doris is a member of the Etsy for Animals team that I am in and she is also donating 10% of every sale to help honey bee research. I love this small costume because my rescue rabbit Wesley gets very ill when he is cold and I have to constantly keep him rugged up. I haven't tried a coat on him yet but it's great to see beautiful and witty accessories for our fur friends, because not all fur is as warm as a polar bears!

Yael made this Honey Copal Flower Ring. Yaelu is from the Artisan Gallery team. I love the brightness of this ring!

and this Ceramic Mosaic Insect Shrine by Artisan gallery member Blue Terracotta is just precious! Imagine an insect shrine - how very delicate. I love these colours and the shape.

So as Erica from the Etsy for Animals teams says in her beautiful poignant photo 'It's All About the Bee' and she is so right - it all comes down to the smallest of pollinaters to keep the world going.

Without the winged insects spreading the pollen from plant to plant and making the fruits, flowers and plants thrive the world would have very little food to feed her inhabitants. All of her inhabitants - not just the furless bipeds.

Thank you


  1. beautiful bees. i love your selections from etsy shops. it's delightful to see them so busy with the summer flowers. i love watching them work away.

  2. I love bees and always make sure I have their favorites growing in my gardens. Interesting post on the bee study - I laughed at the transmitter; I'm glad I wasn't the one who had to glue them on!

  3. Annette, I agree with you about monies to track bees versus organic beekeeping. Often science wins funding over common sense. If we know that chemicals and pesticides affect the nervous systems of insects and mammals, why do we need to study the effects on their brains?

    You'll be happy to know that I rescued two tiny baby bunnies this week, from the neighbor's cat. Both times he had them cornered under my hose spigot. I put them back in the wild border near my house and hope they both survived...

  4. thanks Kim, I love to watch the bees working away too!

    that is super Meghann - a perfect garden!

    thank you Victoria, I whole heartedly agree with your points.
    Very glad to hear about the baby rabbits!

  5. NEXT to post about Bees in the BEE Up blog it forward will be Esther and Estella from Star of the East -

  6. Great post and an amazing photo from the guardian.

  7. annette-- this is a wonderfully engaging piece you've written and i agree completely about the waste of money in tracking the bees -- when i saw that antennae fixed to the bee--all i could think of is that this is yet another way we are interfering! now this bee probably won't be able to behave normally or get in and out of its hive.
    and i agree -- the answers are obvious-- over use and dependence on pesticides and industrial chemicals are laying waste to our soil, the health and nutrients in our food, and effecting animals in adverse ways causing untold damage and long terms effects.
    .. it's time for a big change- lets hope it happens sooner than later....
    thanks so much for your lovely feature and for including my ring.
    ..and i love your sweet story about polliner-- he's a very special bunny! :)

  8. Wow, what a fabulous post on all fronts! Annette this is so heart warming, thank you.

    We have a little wild rabbit that has been hanging around on our property, I am going to name her/him Polliner after you sweet bunny. xo

  9. What a beautiful post! I agree with you about expensive studies, but unfortunately, they are necessary to convince politicians so that laws can be voted to protect our precious natural world. Politics, phew! Thank you so much for including my mosaic here :)

  10. what a lovely post, I love all the bee artwork. Bees are vital you're right, and i agree we really shouldn't need expensive experiments and studies to prove what should be common sense. I'll be posting about bees soon too!

  11. It is crazy how people spent a huge amount of money on things like tiny radios for bees, nature should be kept in peace.

    Wonderful article and thank you so much for featuring our necklace!

  12. I love that post! Not just because my Gizzy's in it, but I'm so glad to see other people into bees like I am. The bee with the radio antenna was interesting - that first thing that popped into my head was "awww, poor bee." One thing I find sad about the whole bee study is: why do humans need to spend Billions of Dollars (or Euros) to study the effects of pesticides (that are known poisons) just to proove that it's bad for the bees when we already know that...common sense dictates that any poison is bad...we shouldn't need a study for that. All that money could be put to better use to help animals and nature if we just switched to natural and alterniative measures instead of poisons, but I suppose there's no profit in going wholistic!

    Sometimes I get so frustrated with civilazion, I want to run off and join the Quakers!

  13. I spent awhile yesterday watching a leaf cutter bee, he or she kept flying back and forth to my pea plants and cutting big sections out, the speed was amazing! The garden has been buzzing with bees this year.

  14. I'm really so honoured to see my scarflette featured among all these stunning bee and honey creations... thank you so much!!!

  15. Love the buzzzzzzz. I have a bee stamp that I put on all out going mail.

  16. such a comprehensive post, all fronts! It's so thoughtful and also lovely!!!

  17. It's an honor to have my photo on your lovely and informative post, Annette! I have a passion for photographing honey bees - I can't get enough of them:-) I also know that they're in crisis right now, and firmly believe that chemical pesticides have a lot to do with that. We live in pesticide-land, yet the farmers all rely heavily on honey bees for all of the fruit here. The two do not exist harmoniously, imho. Of course, chemical pesticides are harmful in so many ways. So, kudos to you and your team for getting the word out:-)

  18. That made for interesting reading Annette. Thank you for sharing the beautiful bee inspired items and the nteresting information! It was nice to meet Polliner too. Little Wish is very happy here and I am happy for her!


  19. I am a big fan of the Bees. I dont think a lot of people realize just how important they are to the natural order. The honey bees are disappearing here at an alarming pace and nobody can come up with a real answer as to why. I have no doubt that chemicals and pesticides are the culprit. I get a big kick out of the bumblebees in my garden. They are never concerned about me and I have even sprinkled them by accident when I water. They never get upset with me, just go about their business while I go about mine.

  20. A beautiful and informative post my friend. It really is such a shame that people want to control everything with chemicals. It makes my heart sad.
    However, that picture of Gizzy made me laugh! Too funny!
    Hugs to you and the fuzzy kids.

  21. wonderfully inspiring post!

  22. Wonderful bee picks Annette!

  23. What a wonderful blogpost to read!

  24. What a fascinating topic. Thanks for sharing. And I love how you make your informal etsy treasuries via blog.

  25. I love bees and this was a fantastic post! After missing the bees here for 3 years, this year they finally returned much to my delight. Their favorite spot to congregate is in the dogs' big play yard because of the clover. But never mind chemicals, can you believe one of my huskies, Shama, is eating them??? Every day she can hardly wait to get into that yard and gobble down as many as she can. She hasn't got stung yet, but chances are great that she will! So now I'm wishing the bees would go somewhere else, for their sake and Shama's. Oh my goodness!

  26. thank you to everyone for your wise comments. There is no need for me to 'preach' here as I see everyone is all on the same level when it comes to bees.
    They are indeed miracle workers!


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