It came beautifully packaged and was a sheer delight to open. (I always think that's incredibly important.)
I do have a little obsession with bees. In fact I spent quite some time a while back producing a number of textile wall pictures that featured these little critters.
Here's a piece of interesting information for you - my daughter's name means 'bee' in Hebrew, so not surprisingly I'm drawn to them. (The bees that is, not the Hebrews, though I'm sure they were quite the most delightful people!)
I was always fascinated as a youngster by the old, wooden entomological drawers in my local museum and could stand for hours gently pulling each lovingly handmade drawer of treasure out to examine a parallel world beyond my own.
The curator of the museum - a rather dowdy, bespectacled, sallow-skinned man - was, surprisingly, genuinely pleased to see us four tousle-haired children tumble into his dusty domain on the odd wet and windy day. He would pass round his collection of hand-held magnifying glasses and would fetch a little wooden stool from his dusty stuffed-to-the-rafters office in order for the toddler to peer into the uppermost drawers.
One hot summer's day, when I was a little scrap of a thing, I found an enormous dead bumble bee lying on the ground and was fascinated by it's gossamer wings and furry little body. I remember sitting on the back doorstep and slowly stroking it until my brother came out and blew it away saying it could still sting me even though it was already dead. I'm still not sure if this is true or not?
Anyways, bees are my favourite visitors to the garden. I have a plethora of lavender bushes and last year they excelled themselves, behaved beautifully and developed truly heady scents which brought the bees from miles around, or so it seemed.
Oops! ANOTHER 'treat'!
The heavy droning of bees never fails to remind me of a bomber aircraft in an old black and white WWII film that we used to watch with my Dad.
Snapped this greedy one literally drowning in pollen!
FYI - Despite the fact that their bodies are exceptionally heavy in relation to their wing size, they manage to defy gravity AND science by being able to fly, albeit in a rather ungainly manner!