Bees are often seen as a nuisance or even harmful to us humans. But as many of us expand our knowledge of nature, we’re learning that bees are not only beneficial to us; they are fundament necessary for the survival of all life on earth. They are our top pollinators, our Earth’s gardeners if you will. Without bees, there’d be no plants or food.
But I’ll admit, when Rob Greenfield asked if I would be interested in photographing his latest project on learning how to become a beekeeper, I was a bit hesitant at first.
“You’ll have to put on a suit and mask and make sure you wear long pants”, he said. My only reply was, “I don’t want to get stung!”
My absolute favorite thing about photographing brands that are mission-driven is that I’m given the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and expand my awareness. always learned something new and amazing when shooting for a story. Photographing Rob’s beekeeping journey was no different.
I met him on a typically humid day in the middle of summer in Florida. Already at the “bee yard” was Dennis, The Bee Guy. A registered beekeeper with the state of Florida, Dennis’s company, Orlando Bee Removal Expert, has a no-kill Bee Removal process. I love that he doesn’t just remove the bees as a pest control company would. He actually saves the bees and rehomes them! From the minute I stepped out of the truck with my camera in hand, I was fascinated.
All of the magic took place in a small backyard space. For over two hours Dennis explained, demonstrated, and helped Rob navigate the wonders of beekeeping. He was not only friendly and easy going with me (a new and somewhat fearful bee-goer), but he was totally nonchalant about the swarming of hundreds of bees around us constantly while he talked. His knowledge about honeybees is unique and extensive. Even more, his ability to share and teach with enthusiasm is completely contagious.
I had not only stepped out of my comfort zone. I was expanding it as I was shooting. I couldn’t believe how close I was getting! I hope everyone gets an opportunity to experience bees in action up close. They are brilliant and beautiful. We must continue to learn and share our knowledge so we can save the bees! If you want to learn more about saving bees, go see Dennis, The Bee Guy.