Art in the Blood: a Beekeeper’s Gallery


“Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest of forms…”

…as Sherlock Holmes said one time. Over the years, we’ve collected artwork from people inspired by the Russell & Holmes stories, in several categories: the Illustrated Parrot King, Russellscape, the Laurie R. King YouTube channel, our Mary Russell Colouring Book, and the Illuminated MyStory.

You can also revisit the Beekeeper’s cover art through the years.

Illustrated Parrot King

For the Ten Weeks of Laurie ARrrgh! King, leading up to the publication of Pirate King, I wrote an original short-short story and set it up on a page with room for your illustration.  To see all of the gorgeous, fun, and sometimes silly submissions, please visit the Parrot King page.

Sara McClelland Allison Nast Lindsay Slater


Beekeeper’s Gallery

If you’re moved to create something that isn’t a Parrot King or a Russellscape (see below) send it to us anyway, and we’ll display it here in the Gallery.  Photographs, YouTube videos, photos of you dressed as Mary Russell–this is the place for it.  Just don’t forget the permission form. See more here.


Painting by Rori Shapiro. By Elina from Finland Bonnie Gladys, “Remnants,”
colored pencil & permanent marker

Mary Russell Colo(u)ring Book

By popular acclaim, we’re adding a project to the Beekeeper’s Gallery: The Mary Russell Colouring Book. For this, we need a simple ink drawing that depicts a scene from one of the books–Kim’s picture of Russell at the American Colony (from O Jerusalem) is an example (click to enlarge):

If we get enough, we’ll put them together as a colo(u)ring book. So send us your coloring book drawing, and we’ll need the permission form from you, so we know that you want us to use it.

Let the colo(u)ring begin!

Holmes and Russell, by Tamra Arnold Russell reading, by Tamra Arnold
Beginner’s Luck, by Kim

Illuminated MyStory

In the spring of 2009, as part of the online celebration called “Fifteen Weeks of Bees,” Ms Mary Russell posted a series of fifteen blogs on her MySpace page telling how she had come to send her memoirs to one Laurie King. At the end, the fifteen episodes were arranged for printing into a booklet called “MyStory”: here.

To mark the 2010 celebration—“Twenty Weeks of Buzz,” which led up to the April publication of The God of the Hive—we turned “MyStory” into an illuminated manuscript. For instructions, details, and inspiration, visit the Illuminated MyStory page, or download the PDF.

Once you’ve illuminated Russell’s words, you can either scan the pages and email them to Bees[at], or post them to PO Box 1152, Freedom, CA 95019.


The Russellscape is an endless landscape of Russell and Holmes-related images, set to unroll across the screen like landscape from a train window. In spring 2009, we held a contest for the best Russellscape panel as part of the Fifteen Weeks of Bees, with the winning design made into a T-shirt at the LRK Cafepress store.

We did a similar contest in the spring of 2010, so head over to the Russellscape 2010 page for more details on how to submit your own.

Cover Art

Even before The Beekeeper’s Apprentice was published in January of 1994, the book wore some interesting cover art. Below are a few examples, including one that St Martin’s Press proposed some months before. Fortunately they listened to their author’s plaintive cries and changed it to one of greater dignity.

Click on a cover to view a larger image.




The original proposed St Martin’s Press cover Japan United Kingdom France
beekeeper-136_small beekeeper-137_small beekeeper-138_small beekeeper-uk-paperback-2000
US trade paperback US mass market (1) US mass market (2) UK mass market
beekeeper-140_small beekeeper-141_small beekeeper-143_small beekeeper-144_small
Germany Holland Poland Denmark