This is an earlier project  illustrating flowers for honeybees which marks the start of my interest in bees and less specifically, sustainable design.

Honeybees are fascinating creatures responsible for a substantial amount of crops. One in every three mouthfuls we eat requires pollination. Honeybee populations have, in recent years been undergoing something of a crisis has been widely linked to harmful neonicotinoids (a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death).

Strong evidence points to particular pesticides being to blame for killing them. But the environment minister recently refused to support a European vote to stop the pesticides being used. Follow the campaign at 38 degrees and Friends of the Earth. These campaigns are supported by the Green Party who I recently produced a flyer for.

My aim was to avoid the cliched yellow and black imagery associated with bees and instead attempt to develop a new visual language. I experimented with a number of illustrative and photographic approaches, following up on a cut paper method. I sketched the different elements which make up each flower onto paper then cut them out with a scalpel before scanning them, digitally isolating and then finally digitally colouring them. Despite being quite a painstaking process, I was pleased with the outcome and assembled a series of the illustrations into a simple information booklet designed to inform people which flowers to grow to support our native pollinator populations. I am beginning to pick this work up again and the prints will be available to purchase very soon. I am also expanding the number of illustrations to include new editions.

Check out this infographic I made to illustrate why we need honeybees. I’ll be producing another on flowers for honeybees in te near future.