Burning MannLake Beehive with Pyrography How to Burn a Honey Bee Image

okay so today we have another fun
project which involves decorating your Bee box this is my Bees in your backyard
reference guide we have oil-based colored pencils we have this razor tip
energy station that’s going to heat these three tips here that we’re going
to use on the project bees wasps and ants keep your references nearby we’re
going to try to do a more realistic looking honeybee here on this end panel
of one of the mann lake deep boxes and of course you could have something hot to
drink while you’re gonna do your project you want to be all set up everything at
your fingertips this is their medium grade box these are the three tips here
sharp the ball pen and of course a shader and as I just said before mann
lake offers three different grades of pine here and this is a middle grade so
it’s actually in pretty good shape so we’re gonna see how well it takes the
heat this is the box that came I ordered a bunch of these so we’re gonna start
putting stock together to replace some of the older boxes in my apiary and I
thought while they’re disassembled this is going to be a great time to put them
together there’s mann Lakes information this is gonna be my third project the
second one here was Winnie the Pooh he’s of course on a piece of cedar panel here
which is on one of the flow hive supers and that was just kind of fun to do and
again we added color with oil-based pencils and this of course is my honey
bee on honeycomb also on a flow hive and that was my very first pyrography
project there now what I’m gonna go with here is I have this book bees in your
backyard that honeybee bottom row there dead center is what I’m going to
do so I’ve done a quick work up outlining it a little bit here this is
about an 11 inch long be here and we’re gonna go in sketch it in detail last
time we did kind of a kind of a lame attempt at doing a honeybee so this time
I felt like it really needed to do something more realistic so just keep
your reference image nearby and refer to it often I’m starting off
with this ball pen and I think I like the way it’s working better than burning
on cedar the cedar was really soft and the pen did sink in quite a bit so when
you look at the growth lines growth rings that are sticking out here the
light areas you’ll notice that the pen goes right into pretty easy and then
when we hit the growth ring there look how it just kind of skips over it so if
you want a dark in the growth rings you’re gonna have to pause a little bit
and let that thing eat up you can darken them still I’m gonna say that this pine
is a little better to work on so far than the then the cedar that the
flow hive boxes are made out of and I have not tried the hoop pine yet that
comes from the flow hive people so of course I go to what’s gonna be probably
the darkest part of this and that’s the bees eye this is a worker bee by the way
if you don’t know the difference of course if this work let’s say it’s a
drone these eyes would be huge and they would come together at the top of the
head here this is a worker you can tell it’s not the Queen the Queen would have
a nice small abdomen and other than that looked pretty similar so we’re just
gonna work here this entire video is about 13 minutes long so if you’re in a
hurry you’re probably not gonna appreciate it too much one of the things
I kind of like that’s happening here though is see how the wood grain is
going through the eye that’s actually kind of interesting so by the way if
you’re doing this for your first time and as I mentioned this is my third
wood-burning project you really can’t mess it up bees have no idea what
they’re looking at this has a practical function and that is when honey bees get
closer to their beehive particularly if you have a lot of beehives in a row that
look very similar in physical configuration by putting high contrast
shapes and stuff on front of your beehive it will help the
foragers come back and find their specific colony faster there have been
cases where foraging bees have been coming back with pollen and resources
and landed on the wrong landing board and when they have a lot of resources
with them they’re not going to get repelled by the guard bees you’re gonna
be welcomed in so that sometimes referred to as be drift when bees go
from the center hives to the out born hives those at either end of your apiary
row and of course if a bee lands and it does not have a lot of resources it
would be immediately repelled if it was at the wrong colony but kind of like
people they open their doors and welcome those that are coming with a lot of
resources so now I’m gonna shift nibs here I’m gonna go to this this is more
of a blade and it’s for in this case doing the hairs on the bees body and you
can do a lot of long thin lines again if you move it along quickly see the smoke
that’s coming off here if you keep it light and move fast you’ll have nice
fine lines bees have hairs all over their body and even the eyes so this is
just a kind of a methodical thing and notice that I’m angling the pen away
from the center and the hairs here near the eye will be shorter and of course as
you get near the extremities as we’re looking at the side of this worker bee’s
head you want to have the hairs getting longer if you look at the top of her
head I’ve seen some pretty gnarly hair do’s on some worker bees especially
when they first hatch out you’ll see some very light colored kind of fluffy
caddywhompus hairdos there and so it’s kind of fun to do this with burning and what am I gonna say the bees hairs you
can’t mess this up you know I mean even if it’s a bad wood
burning project it’s serve its function to help the bees
identify the physical traits of some marking which is just above their
landing board and this is a deep box so this will be a brood box on the bottom
this will sit right on the landing board and we’ll put these in the apiary this
spring as we swap out and pull out the older boxes and of course we’ll
make a video of that because some people have been asking about how to set up a
hive in the beginning so we’ll do some splits and we’ll swap out some equipment
and you just want to keep building and of course the hair should go out and
away from the center here we’re working on the thorax this is where the muscles
are this is the part of the bee that generates Heat
this is of course the muscles up there where the wings attach sometimes you’ll
see bees just shivering and vibrating their wings without flapping the wings
and they’re just burning calories so they can generate heat and honey bees
have to be able to do that and of course they’re gonna use carbohydrate sugar
resources to do that and I also wanted to you know darken the legs in here on
this one and there’s some hairs coming off the legs every part of a bee if you
look at them really closely you’ll see that there are tiny hairs except on the
wings themselves so if you have the patience you can really just take your
time and keep adding hairs and darken some areas and leave some other areas
light now in my first project if you watch the video I just did the wood
burning and etched out the bee and and that was kind of the end of it we had
honeycomb behind it and this one I also picked up some oil-based colored pencils
and I’m gonna add some color to this also at the end there now we’re looking
at the abdomen here and that’s what we’re putting the hairs on and generally
you know you want to make the abdomen look kind of cylindrical so you’ll run
the hairs closer together as they go down underneath and of course as he
round over towards the top and then you’ll spread them out as you work
towards the center and by keeping those directions in line and how far now close
they’re spaced you’ll give the illusion of course that this bees abdomen has the
right shape the other thing is a lot of people don’t realize that when you’re
looking at a bee and its abdomen is pulsing in and out
they respirate they breathe through their abdomen they don’t breathe through
their mouths so that’s pretty much I think that’s enough hair and I think the
wings look ok we’re gonna swap this out and we’re gonna put on now a shading
tool this thing pulls a little bit more electricity and the dial on that razor
tip heat system there is now up around a six I have to be careful here you know
this is a judgement call I’m kind of doing a drop shadow around the bee you
have a chance to really mess up what you’re doing because we are burning wood
so whatever you do to it is going to stay there and we’ve been having some
discussions about how to put a finish on these when they’re done of course this
one now is fine it’s gonna have to have something on it so I’m thinking maybe an
exterior grade clear varnish of some kind but again will will show that you
have to work very carefully here and kind of think about where the light is
going to hit the ground here underneath this bee and hopefully it’s compatible
with the way the light strikes the legs and the eye and the way I’ve done the
highlights here and again my resource is the honeybee there on the cover of that
book I’ll be putting links in the video description of everything you see here
including the the tips and this is a pyrography kit that I’m using as well as
I guess I might as well put in the the mann lake link to for these hive bodies
they’re really nice a nice and thick they’re well done and I’m using the
shader here of course to even more kind of contours to the
abdomen of this be and also link the books that I’ve put out here now I think
this is kind of done you know you really don’t want to overwork it and because
I’m gonna add some color here we’re going to use these polycolor pencils
as I mentioned they are oil-based and this is a thirty six piece kit Lyra
Germany I guess anyway they’re really nice the pigment is nice and dense so
they’ll go on pretty quick I’m going to demonstrate that kind of fast here I
bought everything off of Amazon and of course not the not the mann lake box that
I ordered them from their website but if they sell on Amazon I guess I’ll
put a link there for that so and then notice here I started with a really high
light yellow kind of a pale yellow and I’ve come in with a more than ochra and I
want some variation in the orange shades here and getting the kits that have more
colors in them give you more options and will give a greater illusion of kind of
reality here although I don’t think I have any worker bees that have these
colors but again we’re just trying to make something dramatic that’s gonna
stand out on the front of the brood box here out in the apiary right now it’s
raining outside and we’ve got a snowstorm coming in if you didn’t
believe that so here it is all finished I’m just touching up some highlights
here with the white there’s also a blender that seems to work out pretty
well I kind of did some blending with that neutral pencil underneath the bee
and get some of this worked in so the more contrast the better now the bees
not going to look at this and think wow that’s a giant bee on there they’re just
gonna see it as lights and darks and possibly some color and that helps them
distinguish their box from other boxes and aside from that it’s kind of cool to
have in the apiary and because it’s burned into the box if someone took your
bee box and repainted at a different color this bee image is still going to
come through so that’s it don’t forget to sign your
work Fred Dunn 2018 of course you would sign your name not mine I appreciate
that you watch this I hope you got something out of it and to decorate your
Bee boxes burn them so thanks for watching and I may or may
not do another one like this I hope your Bees come out of winter great


  1. I don't care for the shadow. It kind of hides the detail of the legs and belly. Then again my artistic skills begin and end at stickmen. 😁

  2. You're so good at this sigh the only thing I'm good at is making homemade electric stuff or taking apart stuff

  3. Off the wall question….does each Flow Hive Box have to have it's own queen bee, if so how far apart does each hive need to be space away form other hives?

  4. And I thought my new hive painted with cricut stencils was snappy – now this – However it will have to wait tell next winter the Bees are flying here and just got a swarm call……. (mine will still look like a 4th grader did it)

  5. You do realize some people may ask you to do one for them. Some will try to do it themselves. I watched the flow hive video first months ago and you mentioned the honey dripping out of the bottom of the flow frames and DOWN onto brood. In nature bees naturally build brood on top and honey on bottom. It would seem by simply placing the flow frames at the bottom of the hive and not the top would prevent this problem and bee a more natural way to collect honey without disturbing the hive. Nicely done on the burn work.For clearcoat three words; Thompsons water seal

  6. Hello there mr Dunn, I am very interested in the flow hive and think it looks fantastic! However I do have concerns about it, these concerns come from the flow give review made by bill on ‘the bee vlog’ channel, I was wondering if you have seen this? And if you have, in your experience with the flow give did you encounter the concerns he raises in the video

  7. Got the pencils from amazon.. dang they're getting tons of money. Jeff besos passed bill gates as richest man in world. Amazon is gonna take over

  8. These are beautiful. I will watch you and enjoy the process all while lamenting that my bees are not going to have such fancy digs.

  9. I’ve been using Spar Varnish. I started w spray cans, but the quart or gallon is more cost effective. It holds up quite well. Three coats.

  10. I’m truly awed and a bit jealous. You’re extremely talented. Thank you for inspiring us to personalize our hives…now I just have to find my hidden talent. 😀

  11. Yes, I admire the image of the "Bee" ,but the under thorax,abdomen, head and legs, shading ,wasn`t necessary and it doesn`t work for me.
    I think it "muddies" the image a bit . I think it would have looked better without the shading. Apart from that niggle ,great work.

  12. You are such an inspiration! I have watched all your wood burning hive videos and decided to go for it on my first hive. I just finished the artwork using all of your recommendations from assembly to pyrography. You are amazing and your videos are excellent; detailed and so precise. Thank you! p.s. I would love to share a few photos of the finished art, is that possible?

  13. You are hilarious! Bee’s hairdo, maybe bed head? Such great commentary.
    Do you suppose the bees can find their box by the color of the numbers you put on them? I like that the bees will welcome a bee with stores on it but not one without. They are pretty discerning aren’t they?
    I like how you want to make your apiary nice to look at, let the bees know which is their house and protect your things from getting stolen. Great thinking!

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