How to Create a Gumpaste Bumble Bee

How to Create a Gumpaste Bumble Bee


{How to Create a Gumpaste Bumble Bee}

I have a confession to make. My “bumble bee” for my Lemons, Daisies & Burlap cake was not my idea. The truth is I almost did not make it. What happened is that just when I thought I was finally finished with this project my wonderful husband, Ken, asked me, “Wouldn’t it be cuter if you added a little bee?” I thought to myself that would be rather challenging (okay impossible), so I told him “I don’t know if I could make a realistic bee since my lemons and daisies were not fantasy creations.” thinking to myself surely this answer would allow me to dodge the bullet (or a stinger). Obviously, my justification didn’t work too well because as you can see I did end up making one that is about ¾” in length. I did have my reservations at the time, but now (once I was able to create it) I’m really happy he suggested it. Okay, it may not be totally lifelike, but it is certainly closer than the little make-believe ones I made for Honey, I’m Home.

Gumpasting How To's For A Bumble Bee

I used black gumpaste/fondant to form its body. Depending on how intricate you want it to be you can create the three body parts (head, thorax and abdomen) individually. Then take a piece of white #28 gauge wire and skewer the three pieces leaving a small portion out the back end to create the stinger.

For its eyes, rather than using an icing tip as I did with my previous bees, I went to one of my favorite gumpasting props: the black dragees (also known as edible beads or pearls). I loved the nice round shape and shininess because I thought it made its eyes appear more lifelike. I then stuck in its antennae which were made from #33 gauge wire I painted black.

If you are a brave soul you could try making six little legs, but at this point I had my hands full just getting the little antennae in, so mine are legless.

Optional step: I also glued a #30 gauge white wire into the bottom of its abdomen so that it could be held aloft in the sky. 

Allow the little bumble bee to dry overnight before painting it.

I painted my bumble bee with a mixture of lemon yellow petal dust and Wilton White-White Icing Color. It took about three plus coats to cover the black gumpaste/fondant mixture and it needs a couple of days to dry thoroughly before trying to glue on the wings. 

For its wing I used the same veining sheet that I used to make my dragonfly wings. The only difference is I used the smaller set of dragonfly wings and only filled the gelatin portion to about 1/3. If you would like to see more information on how to make these wings see: How to Create Dragonfly Wings. I’m very happy to report making my wings went much more quickly this time (i.e. it only took a couple of attempts) than it originally did with the dragonfly wings. So, practice is the key. You can’t just wing it.

Rather than go to the trouble of trying to mix food coloring into my gelatin mixture to color my wings I chose to use the bright gold Rainbow Dust Edible Food Pen and colored them with the thick end of the pen until I reached my desired amber color. I was so happy because it worked like a charm.