Ok, this goes way back to the 90s’.
When I cut the dead cherry tree to make ‘Mountain Man with Raven’ for a tall chimney wall in Linville, NC, I stashed the hollow trunk under my workshop and got busy cutting forked boards for the 50 plus pieces I had to spline and dowel together.
I don’t remember which came first, the bee or the bear (there’s probably a parable that would help to clear that up for me,) but at some point, I dollied that tree trunk up to the studio and got out my chainsaw.
I’d been making several large, layered heat-colored steel engravings with wood elements—all with bear themes.
I must have had bears-on-the-mind, and the hollow trunk had a natural opening that suggested a very hungry bear. I happened to have a large cherry burl that looked a bit like a big honey comb.
I attached it to a gnarly branch and tried to figure out how to get it up into the air above the bear.
That’s when the bee must have buzzed by.
I got out a length of 1/2″ square steel bar and forged, twisted and shaped it to make the path of the buzzing bee, right from the hive down to the stomach.
It was a bit of a balancing act, but with the steel firmly attached to the bear in several places, the 40 lb bee nest appeared to be hanging from a nearby branch.
I couldn’t say whether the bear ever got any honey.