London Honey

Honeybees have been having a hard time. Their numbers are falling and yet they play a vital role to life on earth. Without bees many of our favorite fruits, vegetables, and nuts could vanish from our shelves and we humans would last all of 4 years on planet Earth. I met up with London beekeepers Chris Barnes and Paul Webb to discover more. Paul tells me, “Chris and I have a passion for nature. To be able to have that direct relationship with an animal & learn about its fascinating behavior whilst still being in the city is very special.”

The UK has an estimated 274,000 bee colonies, producing 6,000 tons of honey per year with the help of 44,000 beekeepers. Having spent time at 2 of their rooftop sites I can see why the honey bee is so compelling. There is something hypnotic about watching a hive being opened up and seeing the bees at work! I have loved getting to know the bees but unfortunately my interest has been sparked at the ‘end of the season’, so I now have to wait until they wake for my next foray into this extraordinary rooftop world.

  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/640, ISO: 100)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of Cafe Spice Nameste in the city of London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 16th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/500, ISO: 200)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of The Red Gallery, Shoreditch, East London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 4th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 55mm F1.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/800, ISO: 200)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of The Red Gallery, Shoreditch, East London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 4th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/2000, ISO: 200)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of Cafe Spice Nameste in the city of London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 16th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/400, ISO: 200)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of Cafe Spice Nameste in the city of London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 16th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/125, ISO: 100)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of Cafe Spice Nameste in the city of London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 16th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 8, Shutter: 1/500, ISO: 400)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of The Red Gallery, Shoreditch, East London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 4th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 55mm F1.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/320, ISO: 200)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of The Red Gallery, Shoreditch, East London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 4th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/320, ISO: 200)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of Cafe Spice Nameste in the city of London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. Paul and Chris have only recently taken over the care of this hive and they discover the bees have been making wild honeycomb inside the hive. 16th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/1600, ISO: 200)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of Cafe Spice Nameste in the city of London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. Paul and Chris have only recently taken over the care of this hive and they discover the bees have been making wild honeycomb inside the hive. 16th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/1000, ISO: 160)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of The Red Gallery, Shoreditch, East London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 4th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/500, ISO: 200)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of Cafe Spice Nameste in the city of London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 16th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5.6, Shutter: 1/2500, ISO: 200)

    Beekeepers Chris Barnes (dark hair) and Paul Webb of Barnes and Webb inspect their hives on top of Cafe Spice Nameste in the city of London. This is the final hive inspection to check for disease or problems before the hives are shut up for winter for the bees hibernation. 16th October 2014.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5, Shutter: 1/800, ISO: 320)

    Graffiti artwork by Louis Michel Masai for the #savethebees campaign by Jim Wilson found around London.

    Open fullscreen
  • Abbie Trayler-Smith London Honey

    Abbie Trayler-Smith

    #FutureofCities - London Honey

    Sony α7R, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA (F-Stop: 5, Shutter: 1/400, ISO: 320)

    Graffiti artwork by Louis Michel Masai for the #savethebees campaign found around London.

    Open fullscreen
Abbie Trayler-Smith

Abbie Trayler-Smith

"For me photography is where I feel at home: it’s about exploration, communication, creative expression, and education."

Abbie's photography is rooted in exploration, communication, creative expression, and education. Joining us from the UK, Abbie's first commission as a Global Imaging Ambassador takes a look at urban beekeeping for the #FutureofCities project.

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