Fifty Bees Project

This is a project based on the Lasioglossum prasinum or Grey-tailed Furrow Bee allocated to me by the project Fifty Bees 4.

Because my practise investigates the beauty and complexity of our rural landscapes. I aim to draw attention to aspects which denote the power and versatility of it and the materials from which it is formed. This bee is a polylectic so I have chosen to use the pollen to make drawings with. It is a tiny ‘solitary’ bee measuring about 2-5cm in length. Solitary meaning it does not live in a hive situation but on its own, possibly in a neighbourhood of other bees of the same species. It is also vulnerable to cleptoparasites or cuckoo bees who take over their nests and then lay their eggs and use their host’s collection of pollen and nectar to feed on.

The left hand image is 4 drawings totalling 300 x 300 mm in size, all done using pollen as a drawing material.The top 2 drawings are called ‘Bee Breath’. The one in red ‘Panic Breath’ denotes the anxious breath when the cuckoo bee is near and aggressive. The paler drawing ‘Resting Breath’ is the bees ’normal’ breath.

The two drawings underneath depict two of the Lassioglossum’s favoured flowers Erica tetralix or Cross-Leaved Heath and Pulicaria dysenterica or Common Fleabane from which it collects pollen.

The image on the right, called ‘Habitat, Male and Female’  600 x 150 mm (variable) has also been drawn using pollen but I have added charcoal and chalk.  Both materials are found in the bees’ homeland. They have been drawn onto a curled bark which has been collected from an area familiar with the bee’s habitat. The layering of marks are a suggestion of the colours and shapes of the bee and also the strata and layering of the heathland habitat they favour.