Sunday, 15 November 2020

Bzzzzy as a little bzzzzy bee.

 Hello my friends,

August has been a lost month for miniatures in my case. A heatwave with a record length (for the Netherlands) did not help. And before you know it, the month has gone and is replaced by september before I could blink with my eyes. September and even october went the same way. And now we are almost halfway november! 

So did I do nothing? Oh but I did do quite a lot. But little to do with miniatures and  nothing that I can show you here. I think I have been experiencing the "new build anxiety". Building a miniature house is new for me. And I am a risk-averse person. That is why I put so much effort making precise drawings for every room. And with little time and energy to actualy do building work last months, I made a list of everything I need to do to cpnstruct and finish a room. It has become quite a manual that will help me plan every step of the build. 

Because every room will be quite different from the others I will have to make a list catered to the specifics for every room. The idea of making such lists would drive some of you crazy (and rightfully so) but it has helped me enormously to visualise every step of the build and the ideal order in which every step should be followed to assemble each room. But I have not done nothing in mini. I worked on more floortiles and even more floortiles. ;-o

And I started on a beehive. I do not know yet where I will place it in or around the house It will not have garden or a courtyard (since it is surrounded by a moat). If no good opportunity will present itself, it can always end up in the attic. Or perhaps another project when the house is finished?

The construction is very simple. I used hemptwine and a cottonthread in a matching colour. I found a few handy tutorials in magazines. In reality these hives are made from loose grass/straw that is bound together into ropes. These ropes are wound into coils and fastened with strands of grass during the making of the beehive. 

The outside of the hive.

My problem was that both tutorials advise to use a cap or something similar as a mould around which you make the hive. I obviously buy the wrong household items because nowhere could I find a suitable mould. If the size was right, the shape was way off and vice versa. 

The coils are bound together by thread using the 'festonsteek' or blanketstitch. This gives straight lines on the outside instead of diagonal ones. Pretty! My experience in sewing and embroidery is virtually non existent so I found this quite exciting to do. After some trial and error I got the hang of it. Progress was quite slow but I enjoyed stitching the beehive nonetheless. 

The inside of the hive where the extra threads will be hidden from sight. 

After the last coil I turned the hemptwine inward and stitched it to the inside. I am quite happy with how it turned out but de colour of the cottonthread was too light and bright. It really stood out. So, on a friends advice I made some black tea.

One cup with very strong and dark tea for the beehive beehive, and one cup of tea for myself while waiting for the hive to soak away. 

And soak away, and soak away. This process for colorisation is quite slow. The upside of that is that is does not get too dark too quickly. And in this case I want to keep the grassy colour and not end up with an unnatural looking reddish brown hive. 

And here you have the result. The cotton thread and the hemp twine have darkened a bit but not too much. And the cotton has taken on more colour than the hemp so that they have practically the same colour. I am very happy with the result. I will make one or two more hives. 

Be well and stay healthy and safe! 



  1. Hi Huibrecht! It is great to see you posting again! These times are difficult for so many in so many ways. It is good to have "tiny" things to make that can take our anxiety away! Your bee hive looks great! And I love that the Tea bath gave it just the right color! As for making lists and planning carefully... perhaps I should do more of that! Then I would not have to go back and fix things so often! I do make lists.... but don't always think through all the steps needed. I hope you stay safe and keep making minis!!

  2. ¡Has hecho un bonito trabajo con la colmena!

  3. Making a plan for a new build is a great idea. I typically make a “casual” plan and then hope the details fit as I proceed. I don’t glue anything until I’m sure, though. Your beehive is really cute. Stay safe!

  4. I wish, I was good a planning like that! Apart from making a rough plan of what and in which order to do things, I tend to dive in and make it up as I go. It can be a lot of fun, but also result in a bit of 'undoing' LOL
    I love your little beehive. Well done on your first go. I sure hope you end up finding good home for it - it would be such a shame for it to end up in the attic where the bees won't find it.
    All the best, Anna

  5. Hoi Huibrecht, dat gedraai om ergens mee te willen beginnen maar er nog niet aan toe zijn is heel herkenbaar. Ik noem het een periode van moed verzamelen! Natuurlijk kom je onderweg obstakels tegen maar dat geeft ook nieuwe inzichten! Gewoon klein beginnen dan komt de rest vanzelf. De bijenkorf is ondanks het gemis van een mal, goed gelukt hoor! Groeten van Monique

  6. Hi Huibrecht, goed om weer een blog bericht van jou te zien.
    En ja, zeer herkenbaar die startproblemen na een lange tijd van 'niet met/in miniatuur' bezig zijn, dat zullen velen van ons herkennen.
    Zo'n klein projectje als een bijenkorf maken is dan een prima start, met een prima resultaat. Je hebt geen mal gebruikt en dat komt de uiteindelijke vorm ten goede, vroeger werden ze toch ook met de hand gevormd....?
    Jouw Swinnendael mag dan geen binnenplaats, of tuin hebben, maar je misschien kun je ooit nog een kleine kas bouwen, als los projectje ;O)?!
    Blijf veilig en gezond, zorg voor jezelf!

  7. It's good to see you again - I missed you. And you gave me a broad grin right away with what you said about time flying... it sounded as if you would quote me! *LOL* And the grin was staying when I read about your "new build anxiety"... oh, I can understand you so well. I can easily change pieces of furniture to whatever... but starting with the rooms is a struggle for me too. But when it comes to being organized and structured you win... I really envy you. ;O)

    Your beehive project was fascinating, bravo for achieving such a wonderful result. And the tea dye was just the right amount of colour. And one day you'll find the perfect place for it, either in Huis ter Swinnendael or in an extra vignette - because it's important to support the bees.

    Stay healthy and take good care of yourself!

  8. Amazing, Huibrecht! Such incredible detail!