Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tell it to the bees...

One of the sketches from one of my sketchbooks this year, which I only got a chance to scan because I had two minutes with a school scanner. Heh.

For centuries, it has been a tradition in beekeeping families to "tell it to the bees" when a member of the family dies. Usually it's a child who goes down to the hives immediately after the person has passed and informs the bees that a beekeeper has died. Later, the bees are given a portion of the funeral cake or some other sweet to feast on, and they are formally invited to attend the person's funeral. There have actually been several recorded cases where the bees did, in fact, honor the invitation and come to the funeral. It has also been suggested in beekeeper folklore that the bees will not only empathize with the family in the event of a beekeeper death if told of it, but ensure that the soul has safe passage to the afterlife.

Much of the folklore surrounding beekeeping, and the rituals of beekeepers and their families, really intrigues me. I find it sweet and quite spiritually admirable at times.

Either way, this sketch was inspired by the idea of "tell it to the bees" and the insects' escort of the beekeeper's soul.
Prismacolor colored pencils, black fine point ink pens on recycled sketchbook paper.


Tam said...

Nods very nice. I like the flow of the bees and the background inching into her body.

L. Mynatt said...

I have never heard that lore before but it's very interesting. I like the blue shadows and the shape you built up with the couch.