The subject of bees came up some years ago when I did a series for a proliferation exercise in class. Those were all about the size of postcards and painted rapidly in a three-hour sprint. Sometimes a subject will provoke observation; sometimes observation will provoke interest in a subject. Robert Spellman painting of a sunlit front porch. In this case it was the former – the first series was based entirely on photographs gathered from all about. This piqued my interest in looking at actual bees on the job. They work really hard at what they do. At the same time one can't help but wonder if the business of flying into the middle of fragrant, sun-drenched flowers doesn't carry some delectation. I've heard that the honey bees we see are all female and that they only live about six weeks. It's also well known that honey bees have been in serious trouble in recent years, from a condition called “colony collapse” in which entire colonies of previously healthy bees die without clear cause. Sometimes I think of these paintings as a form of supplication to the bees, a Vulcan mind meld, a prayer for their recovery.