I had the great honor and pleasure of sharing 4 workshops on pollen this past weekend with artist and author, Lori Weidenhammer. Lori gave me a copy of her new book, Victory Gardens for Bees, which I was thrilled to share with workshop participants. This beautiful and timely book will be on the shelves very soon. It is a fantastic compendium of gardening information with the express aim of helping our native pollinators. The book is lushly illustrated with stunning photos, and it is a delight to hear Lori’s voice come through in the text.
The free weekend workshops Lori and I facilitated were offered through Artstarts at the New Westminster Quay location and at Artstarts downtown Vancouver. We drew, stamped, collaged and embellished bees and flowers and made postcards and matching buttons. Not only did we celebrate flowers, bees and pollen but we even got to celebrate the 20th birthday of ArtStarts four times!!!!
Looking at flower parts and pollen with a loupe. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Dark purple pollen of anemone. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Peering at the stamens and pistil of a cherry blossom. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Hairy-belly bee postcard. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Artists of all ages participated – even Moms and Dads! Here’s a beautiful bee and flower themed postcard and button made by a Dad working along side his children. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Beautiful bee, flower and sunshine postcard and button made by a young participant. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Young artist proudly shows off her queen bee postcard, with golden finger-print pollen! Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Lots of food for bees in this garden postcard. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
A beautiful button of a native bee made by a young artist. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Dissected cherry blossom postcard and button. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Working on honey comb-themed button! Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
For exploration and drawing, a selection of flowers in bloom right now . Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Pink pollen and bees! Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
Self-portrait with super bees and flowers! There’s even a butterfly in this garden postcard. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
It’s great to see parents participate in the workshop. Here’s a beautifully drawn card and button made by a Mom working along side her own young artists. Photo: Lori Weidenhammer
The rhodos and hawthorns were abuzz these last few days with a variety of pollinators: flies, wasps, solitary bees, bumblebees and honeybees. A feast for the eyes! Could one say some of these busy visitors were mothers and others were workers foraging for their mothers? A little bit of anthropomorphization, yes. Nontheless, such a delight to observe. I cannot identify them specifically–this will be a lifetime’s work, but some of the bees are easier to distinguish than others.
A little Megachilid mason bee (?) about to descend onto a cluster of hawthorn blooms. A honeybee already partially loaded with creamy-white pollen.
A beautiful little mining bee, rear legs and head covered in pollen about to move from one cluster of flowers to another inviting bloom. Little worker bumblebee sisters with bright, fuzzy bottoms busy at work.
A pollen-loaded mining bee taking a break to clean off those important antenna. She carries pollen even high up on her rear legs and on the hind side of the thorax. A little bumblebee worker diving into a bluebell. Look at the pollen load on the belly of this little bee. Her abdomen is upturned and she has a large head. Megachilid, but cannot be more precise.Another view of the same bee.
And here’s a mystery bee. Is that the same bee as the one in the two images above?