This is a really old bit of craft, but I haven't worn them for a while, and the sun is out today, so here are the bees!
I was having a bit of a go at freeform wirework two or three years ago, and not really concentrating when all of a sudden these two buzzed into life. Since it was so long ago, I can't remember the guage of the wire used, or where the beads came from, but I can remember that it was sliver plated jewellery wire, and that I probably got both guages from Hobbycraft.
I started off with a thicker guage wire (for argument's sake, let's say 1mm) and made the body of my bee. First, I made a tight ring around my smooth nosed pliers - both to hold my first beads in place and as a handing winding point for later on. I threaded a yellow and orange bead onto this bit and made a right angled bend in the wire, then another after about another centimetre. On went another bead or two - black this time - followed by two more right angled bends (the bit with the beads should look like a really blocky 's'); I threaded on three more yellow / orange beads and made one last right angled bend (this time going back over the 's'). Using the smooth nosed pliers, I shaped the wire into the back end of the bee - I found that a blocky, cartoon style worked for me - and shaped the wire around the bottom of the bee (under the blocky 's'). The wire was then pulled upwards in a fairly smooth curve to form the bees 'nose'; two more tight rings with the smooth nosed pliers to form the eyes and the body of the bee was complete.
Next, I took thinner wire (let's say 0.5mm) and tightened the joins on the body of the bee, particularly around the initial tight ring, the horizontal parts of the blocky 's' and the eyes. Then I attached a length of the thinner wire to the upper middle of the body (between the first two rows of beads) and formed two elongated loops for the wings; these were then wound around the upper body to secure them. Finally, I attached earring findings to the top of the wings; I chose to have my bees facing opposite directions, but it's really up to you.
I think it took me about an hour to finish them both, but I suspect it would have been quicker if I hadn't been gossiping with the fabulous girls at the UBU Society for Craftiness :) We were making stuff to sell at the May Carnival, but I didn't want to part with these beauties, and have been wearing them ever since! (Which is why they look a wee bit bashed).