During April and the open studios, I met so many nice people and was blown away by the interest in my work.
One couple who came by and bought a bass print from me are bee keepers. Anglesey Bees is located on Anglesey and run by Dafydd and Dawn. They have a beautiful haven for humans and bees in their 7 acre plot.
There is an education center where they run courses for bee keepers and would be bee keepers and for those just wanting to understand these fascinating little creatures more.
When they visited my studio, I mentioned to them I'd seen a Gyotaku print of bees and honeycomb which was very effective. The next Dawn turned up at the studio again, this time armed with some honeycomb and the offer of some bees.
Of course I accepted. The bees were dropped off and I put them in the freezer ready for printing. It's important to note here that these bees had all died of natural causes. These little beings literally work themselves to death. They spend the first four weeks of their lives in the hive on house duties and then they move outside to collect pollen for around six weeks after which they will die.
I had expected this to be a difficult if not impossible task. I'd expected that the wings would fall or and they would turn to dust in my hands. I couldn't have been more wrong. They are so strong and stayed in tact no problem at all. I was able to take several prints from one bee.
This was my first attempt but it won't be my last. You may or may not know but my children were all born in Manchester and David and I lived there for many years. We return regularly as some of our kids still live there. The bee has become a very potent symbol for Manchester, helping to bring the city together after the tragic events of a terrorism attack at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017.
Bees began to appear everywhere as a symbol of unity in the city. Many people chose to have tattoos!
I've been in contact with a couple of people now in Manchester and I'm hoping to continue my bee printing journey in the near future with some city dwellers. I'll keep you posted.