Bee Keeping in New Hampshire
Bee Keepers in New Hampshire I'm impressed by evolution, there are countless examples of astonishing ways nature creates such a wide variety of tiny, large, boring and fantastical creatures. Honey Bees are a great example of a wild creation, albeit changed by man's breeding.
Recently I spent some time photographing three bee hives in Jackson, New Hampshire at Randy and Ruthanne's house. In the midst of a hive inspection they invited me over to document a little bit of it. I have had limited interactions with bees and bee hives other than the occasional sting.
Factoid: Out of 20,000 bee species only 8 produce honey.
Wearing an oversize mesh jacket and fancy headgear I was able to get right in the mix and photograph the innerworkings of a hive. Throughout the inspection I didn't have gloves on and I didn't have any stings or even close calls with bees getting angry with my intrusion. Randy, Ruthanne and Mike (the bee expert) took the hives apart looking for a queen in each hive structure as well as checking on the overall health of the hive.
Almost all bees are females and queens are actually "created" in the early days of their life. Bees change roles as they grow older, starting as nursery bees, then receiver bees and finally foragers. The honey they produce is meant to feed the hive until spring time warms enough to get back out foraging. So there is a balance for bee keeps to strike, harvest enough without taking too much and leaving the bees hungry.
There's a lot more information on bees on wikipedia, so check it out or go visit a friend that has hives.
Photography has always opened doors for people and this is a great example of that happening. The mix of old school farming and science of breeding better bees makes it a really interesting topic for me. The fact that the hives are outside all winter and these small creatures can survive the rough northern New England winters makes them even more appealing as a topic to photograph. The see more of the bee keeping photography hit the photo essay link in the menu or you can click here;
Bee Keeping Photo Essay