Nature inspires every design at Nancy Nelson Jewelry, but few hold deeper meaning than the brass patterns we’ve cast from unused honeycombs.
"After learning about the epidemic of the bees vanishing from their hives and knowing that the bees pollinate a third of our diets, I realized I needed to do my part to help save the bees,” said Nancy Nelson, who is donating a portion of sales from her honeycomb jewelry collection to Bee Informed Partnership, a nonprofit organization studying the decline of the honey bee population in the United States.
Inspiration for the idea came after learning firsthand about the plight of the honey bee from Nancy’s dear friend, Katie Alvarez, a Maryland beekeeper who also models for Nancy Nelson Jewelry.
Katie shared how she keeps her bees at a Frederick County apiary, and how the bees’ hard work in the face of uncertainty both motivates and calms her.
“There is a balance between giving them the things they need to manage the hive, but not interfering with their natural process too much. That balance fascinates me. But the bees do, too,” Katie said. “They are remarkable little creatures. The more I learn about them, the more fascinated I become.”
That fascination grew for us, too. We asked if Katie could share a few excess honeycomb pieces to inspire a jewelry collection that would honor the bees’ fortitude.
What we received was striking: the exquisite detail of the honeycomb is awe-inspiring. To preserve the bees’ artistry and make use of the lost hive that Katie provided, we made molds of the comb and gingerly cast simple and natural designs in brass.
There’s a zen to beekeeping and being with bees, Katie said. We hope you’ll find your peace knowing that these pieces have the bees at heart.
“And so it is with bees. Unlike wind and water, bees are living things. But they share a keep-going-ness, a stick-to-it-ness, with the strongest forces of nature. This time of year, I can hear the thrum before I get close to the hive. It is exciting, life-affirming, a testament to Earth. To live your life without experiencing the force we call honey bees would be to come up short. I never miss a chance to just be with the bees. To bee is to be.” – Rusty Burlew, Honey Bee Suite
Click here to shop our honeycomb jewelry collection.
written by Pepper Van Tassell
photos courtesy of Jenna Mace, Chris Herring, Katie Alvarez