Friday, May 25, 2012


Sometimes I just need to draw sulky men in finery. And spats. How I need to draw spats.

This is Claud. He budded off of Gladys in a sort of weird asexual reproduction; he was only supposed to be a gender swap, but he grew into his own living, breathing character. Which is a little like hosting another personality inside your mind, it's exciting and unsettling at the same time.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bare Bee Inspection

This isn't as brave as it looks actually. 

Can you see the drone?

Look for the curled up white grubs, those are the babies.

For today’s inspection I went veil and glove-less! It was pretty exciting. They stayed very calm for the most part, and I was not stung. (Dad was, but that was because one got stuck in his hair.) I had to smoke them again, though, when I got closer to the queen and the brood comb as they were getting feisty.

I saw a good number of drones this time, you can spot a few in the photos, they have large dragon-fly like eyes. You can also see some of the brood, curled up in their cells.

I’d say the hive is just under half full of comb now. No harvesting yet. I am a little concerned though, because they’re building brood comb on the larger bars, and honey storage on the thinner ones, but it’s supposed to be the other way around: brood on the thin bars, honey on the wide. But all the comb is straight, with little to no side attachments, so I’ll just let them do what they do.

 Afterwards, when dad pulled the stinger out, we looked at it under his hand-held microscope. Amazingly small! Surprisingly it didn’t look barbed at all. They must be micro-barbs because the stinger looked very smooth.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maira and a Prototype Character

More sketches to let you know I haven't died (but this blog kinda did for a while).
Maira is an OC I made back in high school, and one of the few "femme fatal" characters I have.
The gal in the jodhpurs and goggles is a first pass at a character who will be the protagonist in a short comic which will happen in the undetermined future. (Read as: not soon, sorry) I’m not even sure if I want a female or a male protagonist. Claud is really the first male character I’ve explored in-depth, but I also think it’d be fun to do this short adventure comic with a female lead, a la NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

As some of you may have heard, I got bees!
I still have to upload the video I took on the day I installed the package of bees, but I have photos of my most recent inspection, courtesy of my dad’s blackberry.

Just to bring y'alls up to speed, this hive was completely devoid of comb 1.5 weeks ago. All this work was done in that time alone. My girls are so industrious!
You can see how overdressed I was. Very few bees were flying around at all. When I first installed them in the hive they were crawling all over everything, and a few were accidentally smashed between the top bars, but now they were fastidiously careful about where they’d fly, and where they’d walk. They never left the comb, and they wouldn’t fly into the open space in the top of the hive; arriving foragers still used the hole entrances on the sides. Dad, Rick, mom and Lauren were all able to get very close without a problem. Not sure how much of this gentleness is due to the natural disposition of the hive, the smoke, or the fact that I was just looking and not taking anything. We’ll see.

As for me, I've been really busy as well! I quit FedEx last week, got a full-time job doing in-house illustrations for a company that makes software helping kids to learn English, am still finishing up a few freelance projects, plus there's the yard with all the fruit trees/vines, and the garden to look over. May will be a crazy month!