I have recently had the wonderful privilege of being asked to needle felt some unusual Bumble Bees; two species I had never heard of until a few weeks ago – so I have had to do quite a bit of research. As many of you know I love discovering new animals and can’t wait to get started with my wool but when the person asking me to make a special bee for them is also a bee keeper of that species it does add to the pressure of getting it just right! As with all my creations I really do get to know so much about the colour, shape, anatomy and fine detail of whatever I am making. I have to say I have completely fallen in love with these precious bees! I hope you like them too!
So here is the first bumble bee. This gorgeous fluffy orange cuteness is a Patagonian Giant Bumble Bee (Bombus dahlbomii), one of the biggest and rarest in the world. His new owner calls them ‘fluffy puppies’ and you can see why!
He was very different from my usual felted bumble bee (Mr Bumbley Bee). Instead of adding wool to my pipe cleaner frame I added the legs last after building up the body. His legs were proper chunky and hairy too so I added more wool to the legs and used my reverse needle to pull out fibres to replicate hairy legs. Instead of white organza material with white thread for the wings I used black organza with black thread.
The second is this striking Yellow-Faced Bumble Bee (Bombus vosnesenskii) I made for the lovely beekeeper who wanted me to make one of her ‘girls’. I was amazed that in the photos she sent me that she was carefully holding a whole handful of these cute bees in her hand and one photo was of one sat on her nose! she reassured me they don’t ever sting her 🙂
Thankfully my needle felted ones won’t ever sting and it’s a good job with the size I make them!
Again I created the legs separate from the body and made the wings black. Isn’t she a lovely bundle of bee fluff…