“How does the beekeeper get all the bees into the beehive? Does he/she just say “GET IN THERE BEES!?”
This was a joke question a friend of mine in high school asked to our grade 10-science teacher. At the time, it was something my current group of friends of mine and myself used to say all the time, as it turned into a sort of inside joke that we would just yell out randomly, “GET IN THERE BEES!!”. Little did I know that this high school joke would actually lead me to be truly fascinated with the art of beekeeping, beekeeping photography, and all things to do with honeybee’s years later.
I am very happy to be contributing monthly as a guest blogger on James Dearsley’s amazing Surrey Beekeeper website (Thanks Geoff!). There are a lot of passionate beekeepers out there, myself included, and as I progress month to month, I will slowly share with you my developing thoughts, ideas, beekeeping photography, and stories that link together my two current passions of beekeeping and photography.
In this first post, I am going to tell you a little bit about how I came to be so fascinated with honeybees, and the art of beekeeping. As I stated above, it all stemmed from the one highschool joke, that I later in college would still continue to yell out that inside joke, however I started to actually think about what I was actually saying, how do they actually get the bees in there? Which led to me doing some research on beekeepers and honeybees, and as I started seeing sample beekeeping photography of these incredible insects I thought they would make a good subject for one of my next assignments, as I was studying photography at Sheridan College in Oakville, On Canada at the time. I outsourced some information regarding local beekeepers as I thought it would be great to spend a day with a beekeeper and photograph not only the bees but also the real star of the show, the apiarist themselves.
I managed to track down a local beekeeper near my hometown of Paris Ontario; he worked just outside the area in Brantford. I scheduled a day that looked good in mid June, and I made a trip back for a day of shooting, as he was going to do some extractions that day, and maybe even find a queen for me to shoot. At the time, I knew very little of the art of beekeeping, but as I strolled through the beautiful farmlands where he kept his bees, the warm sun, and the constant buzz of the bees hard at work, all zipped up in my bee suit I was falling in love while taking these photos. It was an amazingly rewarding feeling, as I came away with over a thousand images that I would later go on to show in multiple gallery’s from downtown Toronto in the distillery district, to the Toronto Pearson International airport as well as the showcase image for a charity art auction in London Ontario “Because” that donated money to help with research on CCD.
CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) this was a term that I learned after my first beekeeper shoot in Brantford, I knew nothing about it but was intrigued by the seriousness of the situation. A few years after the success of these images in multiple showings and sales, I wondered how I could link together the issue of CCD and my beekeeping photography into a brand new series of images without repeating the same visual images I had already shot. Living in the big city of Toronto, I wondered how many people were beekeeping, and with a little research realized that there were a lot more than I or many other people realized. However many of these people were doing it in a very interesting and unique way, and at that moment I knew I had found my next photo series involving beekeepers and their beautiful busy girls.
Thanks for reading, I’ll see you all next month as I reveal some exciting information and images from my current ongoing beekeeping photography series that I look to show in a solo gallery this May 2012 in downtown Toronto.
If you would like to find out more about Geoff and his Beekeeping Photography please go to my Guest Beekeeping Bloggers Page.