‘Sister Hives’: Art Meets Beekeeping

Beekeeping merges with art! Deborah Wace’s artwork proudly adorns Sister Hives Australia beekeeping record participation certificates. Sister Hives created an Extreme Excellence World Record for ‘Most Photos of Women+ Beekeeping Uploaded in 24 Hours’, bringing an incredible response as beekeepers from 25 countries answered the call on social media. (12-13th January, 2023.)


Sister Hives Australia is a beekeeping program co-founded in Tasmania by Anita Long and Jenni McLeod. It provides online and in person programs that invite more women+ into the global beekeeping industry.


Founder of the Extreme Excellence group, Crystal Anne Davis has her own fabulous story and generous ethic for amplifying women’s excellence in life and business.


This is a testament to the power of collaboration as our small bees, essential pollinators for flora ecology, have united women from around the world in an educative movement that is expanding daily.

Certificate of Achievement

Deborah’s limited-edition border design licensed for this certificate features Billardiera longiflora, Purple Apple-berry, a plant first described by and then named after the French naturalist JJH Labillardière, aboard the d’Entrecasteaux expedition to Australia in 1791-3.

‘This delightful climbing vine has long yellow-green flowers with purple markings and pink-purple berries which encase many seeds,’ Deborah explains. ‘Here I have used my original printmaking work to show portals into the landscape where you might find Billardiera longiflora. The berry is also edible and delicious for bees!’

Power of pollination

Pollination – and bees as pollinators – is key to the nature and conservation which speaks through Deborah’s work. With so much awareness for the European honeybee, it is important for each of us to also protect our native bees; through native habitat preservation and by planting native species. Australia boasts around 2000 native bee species which are essential pollinators. Without them our natural ecosystems could collapse. [See footnote.]

Deborah kept her own bees in Lune River, in the early 2000s. Once again, she donned extraction gear to participate in this world record! Beekeeping suit borrowed from neighbour Jen Makin, whose hives are in South Hobart.

As Deborah says, ‘As nectar is to the honey bee, creating exquisite botanical imagery on luxurious textiles is ambrosia to me. My designs overflow with stories of Tasmania’s wild and endangered plant species, of the need to protect this precious natural world and of its connection to enlightened naturalists contributing to one of the deepest threads of human endeavour – botanical knowledge.





‘Where botanicals meet art and science in an abundance of breathtaking natural beauty, that’s where you’ll find me.’ This melding of art and science, along with history and culture, amplifies the interconnection of my intricate botanical details…as if a pollinating insect were itself the artist.

What's in a name?

Did you know that Deborah is a girl’s name of Hebrew origins that means ‘bee,’ and is the name of a prophetess in the Jewish Bible and Christian Old Testament? This Biblical Deborah was a poet and a judge, too, who led a revolt that helped the Israelites win their freedom from the Canaanites.

Seed pods in blue

Celebrate pollination for yourself with an exquisite piece from my Seed Pods in Blue collection.


Footnote: CSIRO, ‘Can you beelieve?! Our guide to native bees’

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