My Etsy Shop

Friday, 3 April 2015

Spring is here - and so are the bumblebees!

As I write this, it is Good Friday. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day but today is quite cold and damp but at least we seem to have left the strong winds and heavy rain showers behind - so much for March going out like a lamb! Nevertheless, it is officially spring and we are now on British Summertime - more hours of daylight for us stitchers!
As you know, I love nature and the natural world is one of the biggest influences in my designs and spring is my favourite time of the year. It's so exciting to see the countryside and the garden coming back to life. There's frog spawn in the pond, the birds are all pairing up and preparing their nests and the first bumblebees are out and about. You know that spring is truly here when the bees venture out of their winter burrows and begin their search for pollen.
This sampler depicts three queens of the most common species of bumblebees found in the UK. I am lucky that my garden is full of life throughout the seasons and there are numerous types of bees buzzing here and there in the summer. You can recognise queen bumblebees because they are quite a big bigger than the workers.
On the top left we have the white-tailed bumblebee. Along with white-tailed bumblebees, these are the first to emerge from their winter slumbers.
On the top right is the red-tailed bumblebee. The workers have the same markings but are much smaller. This is my personal favourite bumblebee and it's always a delight to find them in the garden.
At the bottom is the tree bumblebee. This is a continental species that was first recorded in Britain in 2001. Since then it has made a steady progression northwards. Twice they have nested in my garden, once in a wall cavity and once in an old bird box. Unusually for bumblebees they can become aggressive if you get too close to the nest so it's best to be cautious when observing them but they are fascinating to watch. They particularly liked our plume thistles.
When worked on 16/32 count fabric, the design fits perfectly into a 5-inch hoop. You could also stitch and frame them separately in three 3-inch hoops. They are also perfect for other small projects such as greetings cards, coasters, pin cushions and much more.
If you would like to buy the pattern, you can either click on the Etsy mini listing at the top of the page or click here to go to my Payhip shop. Happy Easter and happy stitching!

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