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  • Bee in flight

    A honey bee in flight

  • The apiary

    Philippe's apiary at the Buddhist retreat grounds

  • Philippe lights the smoker

  • The Bee Keeper's Smoker

  • Opening the hive

    Philippe prepares to open the hive

  • The feeding hole

    Bees at the feeding hole at the top of the hive

  • Calming the bees

    Bee keeper Philippe using a smoker to calm the bees

  • Removing a frame from the hive

  • Looking for honey

  • Frames with propolis

  • Bees on the frame

  • Cleaning Burr Comb

    The hive tool is used to remove and clean the extra wax called burr comb, off the edge of frames

  • The queen + workers

  • Emergence of a worker bee

    The emergence of a worker bee is approximately 21 days after the egg was laid

  • Breaking through

  • Almost there

    A bee is born

  • On shaky legs

  • Cleaning

    The first job of the worker bee is to clean the hive

  • The world map according to bees

  • Bees fanning their wings

    Honey bees fan their wings to encourage evaporation of the nectar in combination with bee enzymes down to 18% moisture to cap the honey cell

  • Selecting larvae to make queens

  • Cleaning the queen cells

  • Looking for larvae to make queens

  • Transferring the larvae into queens cells

  • Preparing new queen cells

  • Grafting the queen

    Anna, Philippe’s daughter learning to graft the queen

  • Anna and Amélie making queens

  • Grafted queen cells

    Inserting the grafted queen cells into the receiving hive

  • Opening a hive

  • Raising the grafted larvae as queens

    After a day the worker bees are raising the grafted larvae as queens, feeding them only royal jelly... which transforms a normal larvae into a queen

  • A row of caged queens in a bank

    A row of caged queens in a bank that will be used later to make new hives... these young queens are fed and cared for through the mesh by only worker bees

  • Mating nucelii

    These little hives are called mating nuclei and are used to mature virgin queens that will be transferred into the queen bank

  • A hive entry

    The entry is marked with distinctive features to help the queens find her home after her maiden flights and then to mate with the drones

  • Amélie holding a queen cell

  • A close up of a queen cell

  • Marking a queen

    Marking a young queen, each colour represents a year

  • Drone bee

    Drone bees don’t sting

  • Workers and a drone bee

  • Bees capping the wax

  • Worker bees use sap to make propolis

  • Anna’s hand and the worker bee

  • Team Bee

    Anna, Philippe and Amélie

  • Amélie the young bee keeper

  • Team Bee picks berries

  • The distinctive colours aid navigation

    Philippe with supers and mating nuclei painted distinctive colours to help the bees find their hive

  • Supers and mating nuclei painted distinctive colours

  • The entry to a bee hive

    The bee hive entries are painted distinctive colours to help the bees find their way home

  • Master Bee Keeper Philippe Finance

  • Photographer Andrew Guidry

    Andrew braving the apiary in his bee keepers hat

Visit the magical realms of the honey bee & the master bee keeper

Sydney photographer Andrew Guidry has joined forces with Master Bee Keeper Philippe and Team Bee – Anna and Amélie, to bring us ‘Backyard Heroes’ a brilliant insight into the work of the honey bees.

Andrew and Team Bee’s goal is to share their story with you, to raise awareness about bio-diversity’s interrelationships and role in our gardens and the larger environment that we share with them. Bees and plants have a symbiotic relationship and observing them could teach us a lot about how to tread lightly on this planet – their world creates no waste that goes to landfill, has 100% recycling, renewable sources of energy and they dwell in a democratic dancing society.

Philippe was born in France, and has been living in Sydney for 15 years. He is a geologist by training and a beekeeper. Philippe’s journey with the bees began with his father’s bees in France some 30 years ago and has continued to this day with his two young daughters. The photographs were taken amongst Philippe’s 40 bee hives. He has recently started a small beekeeping company SydneyBees.

I would like to extend deep gratitude and thanks to Andrew, Philippe and Team Bee, who volunteered their time and energy to bring you these amazing images.

See and hear more about Andrew Guidry’s Photography and Sydney Bees:

Twitter: @sydneyhoneybees

Facebook: Andrew Guidry Photography

Andrew’s Tumblr

About Michelle.Montgomery

Michelle Montgomery is a Sydney-based Content + Social Media Creator for Design, Arts and Food & Lifestyle focused clients.

One comment

  1. What a wonderful series of photographs explaining the story of bees. I can’t wait for the warmer weather again when my basil comes up and flowers in its abundance and my lavender hedge by the kitchen door shows off it’s scented heads of purple inviting the bees. A stand still and watch scene!

    Alexa from Sydney, Australia

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