creating beautiful journals and books

Bee Book

We have a beehive in our roof. The bees have been there for about a year. They collect nectar from and pollinate my wild town garden, where throughout the year, something is always in flower. I do whatever I can to protect the bees who live here and to ensure they flourish in my care. I even talk to them.

Diseases such as Colony Collapse Disorder and Varroa mite have wiped out millions of wild honey bees and domestic bees over recent years. Last year, at the local film festival, I saw Vanishing of the Bees, a fascinating UK documentary released in 2009.

The film focuses on the disappearance of entire colonies of honey bees from beehives all over the northern hemisphere. The name given to this disappearance is Colony Collapse Disorder and the film suggests this may be linked to the use of pesticides.
Bee expert, Doug Somerville, of the NSW Department of Primary Industry, said in 2007: “Honey bees are the ‘canaries in the coalmine’ of the environment.” So far Australia is free from Colony Collapse Disorder and Varroa mites, which are external parasites of bees that eventually end up killing them. We need to protect and encourage our bees by growing flowering plants that are free of chemicals. Even the smallest garden can contribute.

bee boy's song - limited edition artist's book - marama warren

‘Bee Boy’s Song’ – A limited edition book I made featuring the famous bee poem written by Rudyard Kipling in 1906.

In 2010 I made this book for the Regenerator 2 Altered Book Project  at the University of West England, Bristol. It incorporates the following poem, The Bee Boy’s Song written by Rudyard Kipling in 1906.

Bees! Bees! Hark to your bees!
‘Hide from your neighbours as much as you please,
But all that has happened, to us you must tell,
Or else we will give you no honey to sell!’

A maiden in her glory,
Upon her wedding-day,
Must tell her Bees the story,
Or else they’ll fly away.
Fly away–die away–
Dwindle down and leave you!
But if you don’t deceive your Bees,
Your Bees will not deceive you.

Marriage, birth or buryin’,
News across the seas,
All you’re sad or merry in,
You must tell the Bees.
Tell ’em coming in an’ out,
Where the Fanners fan,
‘Cause the Bees are just about
As curious as a man!

Don’t you wait where trees are,
When the lightnings play,
Nor don’t you hate where Bees are,
Or else they’ll pine away.
Pine away–dwine away–
Anything to leave you!
But if you never grieve your Bees,
Your Bees’ll never grieve you.

11 comments on “Bee Book

  1. artexpectations
    September 6, 2012

    I love how you incorporated an old poem. I hope bees stick around. We can’t survive without them!

  2. Penny
    July 13, 2017

    Beautiful shape. Where can I get the honeycomb template?

    • jgambill21
      January 4, 2018

      I would also love to try this – will you share the template?

      • creativemarama2
        January 5, 2018

        Dear Jackie,

        Begin with a hexagon and add a same-sized hexagon to each side of the original hexagon. Voila!

  3. Jo
    November 30, 2017

    This is lovely!

  4. Heather
    January 10, 2018

    Where can I buy a copy and do the proceeds go to save the bees!?

    • creativemarama2
      January 14, 2018

      That’s a great idea Heather but the books are not for sale. One is in the Bodleian Library in UK and another in the collection of the National Library of New Zealand.

  5. Julia Mccusker
    April 26, 2018

    I love bees. Don’t want them disappear like our bats! Love judybee

  6. Tonya Brown
    April 27, 2018

    I love it, And I believe making/producing something like to be purchased would be a fantastic idea. I’m in the process of writing a childrens book about saving the bees. I loved reading how you take care of the bees at your home. :) The song you put in you “bee” book written so long ago says so much!

  7. Yoga Hippies
    October 29, 2018

    Reblogged this on Yoga Hippies and commented:
    What an amazing journey through the life of these wonderful bees and the people they strive to protect and nurture out ‘so far’ mostly disease free country. As a beekeepers wife, I am not only an advocate but an activist for the beekeeping industry within Australia.

    We are planting bee-friendly natives on our property to help the bees breed with good quality pollen when nothing else is available for them.

    NSW is in drought and beekeepers need rain for not this season but for the following to come. without rain this year the trees will not bud up and produce flower for the bees to collect pollen and honey.

    Support beekeepers worldwide by growing native plants for them to feast on. This is how we build a strong bee population.


  8. Yoga Hippies
    October 29, 2018

    This was beautiful and as a beekeepers wife and activist for the bees, your story helps to raise awareness that is able to be shared… Thank you..

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This entry was posted on September 3, 2012 by in Altered books, Art, Bookmaking, My Portfolio, Poetry.

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