Sarah Keir's photo of a Bumble bee on a pink flower

Sarah Keir

Plan Bee Project

It is too easy in the modern world to become detached from nature, to see it as an isolated concept rather than our environment and integral to us as human animals. It is too easy to go from long days in work, straight home, work some more and repeat the cycle daily without ever taking a step outside except to walk from car to building and visa versa. It was not until I burnout this year and had to take time out that I realised I needed to reconnect with nature, that this would be integral to my recovery.

At first my energy levels were so low that a short daily walk was all I could manage but as I started to get back into hobbies such as crafting, I realised that mindful crafting with re-establishing relationships with nature was what I wanted to concentrate my recovery on. Nature has always been my muse for all my crafting projects in the past but I wished to focus on one area in detail. This has led me to start a summer long project, my ‘Plan Bee Project’, a mixed media exploration of British bumblebees. I am studying bumblebees because my hive of honeybees didn’t make it through the winter and bumblebees are such an important part of the ecosystem as pollinators yet often this fact is overlooked for their more commercial cousins the honeybees. I am drawn to their furry, almost comical. bodies and one-minded flying that appears to defy the laws of gravity.

Focusing on watching and studying the minute aspects of these insects is naturally mindful, requiring one to come into and stay in the present moment. Concentrating on just one idea and area but exploring it through the multiple of crafts I am doing and learning new ones means I can really see the details and wonder in the insect that is the humble bumblebee. Through this project I can feel my mental rebalance returning and I am determined that exploring nature will continue to be a cornerstone of my continued mental health and general wellbeing.

Sarah Keir's works

‘Plan Bee Project’, a mixed media exploration of British bumblebees:

  • An artist’s sketch book of sketches, facts about bees, photos of project work if too big to stick into the book.
  • Sketching and painting
  • Bee poem
  • Identification drawings and in embroidery
  • Hand embroidery bee turned into a brooch, plus on a T-shirt
  • Printing on T-shirt
  • Paper collage of a bumblebee
  • Clay sculptured bees in 3D
  • Silver bee from a mould made from a dead bee
  • Machine embroidery bee
  • Plant dyeing wool and yarn for projects – still working on getting the right shades of yellow!


  • Silver bee with added gold highlights by process of keum boo
  • Raised hand embroidery (Turkey stitch) with stump work wings
  • Needle felted bee, with plant dyed wool
  • Plant dyeing yarn, weaving it into a honeycomb pattern
  • Block printing tea towels with hand carved lino stamps.

To find out more about Sarah’s work, check out her blog or Instagram account @sarah.thevet