The bumble bee is primarily found in the higher altitudes of the northern hemisphere, however they are an introduced species to Tasmania and New Zealand. They have distinctive round bodies covered in soft hair called 'pile' making them appear fuzzy. Like their relatives the honeybees, bumblebees feed on nectar. They gather nectar to bring to the nest and pollen to feed their young. Bumblebees are important agricultural pollinators so their decline in Europe, North America and Asia is a cause for concern. Habitat loss, industrialised agriculture and pesticides are the causes of the decline. I used coloured pencils to draw this bumble bee in full colour against an unexpectedly greyscale flower. Deliberately bringing the focus to the bee, the flower, stripped of it's characteristic colour becomes a mere background pattern. I concentrated on allowing the delightful fluffiness of the Bumblebee take centre-stage, presenting it in a cuddly, friendly fashion. I grew up in New Zealand so I remember these enchanting creatures from my childhood and now I enjoy them in Tasmania; curiously the only two southern regions that the Bumblebee now call home. The odd title of this drawing is named after a cafe in Deloraine where I have my daily morning coffee and the original drawing was a commission from the staff to present to the owner for her birthday one year.
- Fiona Francois -