Machair Mecca: William Neill paints Bumblebees on the BBC

Machair Mecca: William Neill paints Bumblebees on the BBC

Please click the above link to view this film of William Neill painting bumblebees on the BBC


Artist William Neill loves painting bees, and as such he must scrutinise his subject. These close encounters have made him more fascinated than ever by these incredible insects. The wildflower meadows, or machair, of the Outer Hebrides where Neil paints are a rare haven for bees and a reminder of what much of Britain looked like before intensive farming drained the landscape of its wildflower colour.

Nature Blog Network

Bees in Art welcomes new artist William Neill

William Neill is an Outer Hebridean wildlife artist and paints the Scottish Isles’ bumblebees, including the rare Bombus distinguendus (The Great Yellow Bumblebee) and Bombus muscorum form agricolae (The Moss Carder Bee). Both of which inhabit the scarce grassland habitat widespread in the Hebrides: the machair.

Great Yellow Bumblebee

Great Yellow Bumblebee by William Neill


William has been fascinated by natural history since the age of eight, when his family moved from town to country, and has been painting even longer. He taught art in Britain and Australia before moving to South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland in 1980.

The landscape and wildlife of the Hebrides, Scotland are a constant inspiration, and William as often as possible works from life in the field, using watercolour and acrylic.

William runs courses on watercolour painting and wildlife art, and occasionally teaches on the further education and degree courses at Taigh Chearsabhagh, the award winning arts centre in North Uist.

William's work has appeared in numerous natural history publications. Notably he has illustrated the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Discovery book of the Western Isles. He exhibited in 2009 at the Scottish Ornithologist’s Centre, Aberlady and as a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists regularly exhibits at their Autumn Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London.

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William Neill painting bumblebees in his Outer Hebridean garden

Nature Blog Network

William Neill Joins Bees in Art

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