O-riginal Art Activities: Representing Native Bees Inspired by Shawn Hall

The O-riginal Art Activity takes a detailed look into the lives of bees. Learn the difference between a honey bee and a native bee by exploring the exhibition What are Native Bees, Y’all? 

Draw a native bee with all of its physical attributes.

Download Activity

Shawn Hall, Bees, 2009, Oil on canvas

Born in Ann Arbor, MI, Shawn Hall has lived and worked in New Orleans since 1997. She conducts fieldwork alongside her painting: documenting and researching the natural environment around her. She is an advocate for bee’s protection and raises awareness about environmental issues through her work.

Supplies List:

Pencils, Colored pencils, Markers, Cardstock


Step 1: Read the description of a bee and reference the drawings in the gallery.

Step 2: Use a pencil to draw a sketch of your bee. Try to keep in mind the proportions of a native bee.

Step 3: Use colored pencils and markers to draw your finished piece. You can refer to your sketch.

Step 4: Think about bees: Why do you think native bees are important? How can we help protect these diverse and important insects?

Native Bees’ Attributes:

  • Native bees use their tongues to eat nectar from the flower. Their tongues can be different lengths.
  • Bees come in many different colors.
  • All bees have 3 main body parts:

-The head (small)

-The thorax (medium)

-The abdomen (large)

  • They have 4 wings, 6 legs, 2 antennas, 2 compound eyes and a tongue.