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Surrey and Sussex Creations - A photographers view - Sept Newsletter

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Surrey Creations as a photographer - “The Bee’s Knees’

Surrey Creations as a photographer - “The Bee’s Knees’

I thought it would be easy to take a picture of honey bees, but forgot you can’t put your eye directly behind the camera! 

My style is to use the distortion of a wide angle lens to draw the viewer right into the photograph. (Not something the average smart phone camera is able to do). To achieve this I need to be very close to the foreground.

So there I was, 2cms from the hive, surrounded by angry buzzing bees and not being able to put the camera to my eye because of the much needed protective head gear!  I had to guess where the camera was looking and if it was in focus! At the end of the day I filled a 32gb card with over 900 raw files.

Margaret Lennard was careful to brief us, clothe us in head-to-foot bee-keepers gear and shared how to approach the bees and the activity that would be happening around the hive. I wanted to show her work in progress and the sheer numbers in the hive as she checked each frame for disease, the whereabouts of the Queen bee and any sign of a potential swarm because of the breeding of a new Queen.

If you are ever interested in the bees, contact Farnham Beekeepers Association and go to the Rural Life Centre (RLC) at Tilford. Read more at

Next month: How is a broom made in the same method used for hundreds of years?




The plight of the humble honey bee has been much discussed in recent years. In the tranquil setting of the Rural Life Centre in Tilford, we find Farnham Beekeepers Association doing their bit to maintain the buzz. Margaret Lennard takes us among the hives

FOUNDED in October 1941, with just three members, Farnham Beekeepers Association has grown to an active membership of 150 bee-keepers today. “We have an apiary in the orchard of the Rural Life Centre (RLC) at Tilford where we have been based since 2007,” says the club’s Margaret Lennard. “The RLC were keen on having bees on their site, but had no one to establish and run hives, so were very enthusiastic and helpful when we approached them.” The apiary is run mainly as a teaching hub where the group offers practical courses, for beginners through to moreexperienced bee-keepers, as well as a theory course over the winter.

“We also provide a home here for any swarms we have collected, following phone calls from the public, until they have built up sufficiently to go to new bee- keepers," says Margaret. “Swarming is a natural way for the colony to reproduce.”

Although much has been said about the decline of bees over the years, the Farnham Beekeepers Association has not experienced serious losses so far.

“There are always some losses over winter, depending on the severity of the weather, the lack of pollen and nectar plants in early spring, as the bees come out for their first forages, and disease in the colony," says Margaret. “But we work hard to make sure our bees are healthy and there are adequate stores for them.”

Should you wish to try the honey produced by the bees here, it's available to buy in the shop at the RLC.

“Local honey from small-scale producers is a high-quality product and very much in demand,” says Margaret. “The UK only produces about 20% of the honey that is consumed here — much of it is actually imported from Turkey or China.”

So there you go; as well as planting plenty of plants for pollinators in your garden (the RHS has a good list), you can also support your local bee-keepers and their bees by taking a close look at your honey-pot label and loving local.




Surrey is a very active bee-keeping county, with courses available for all ability levels. and even hosts the National Honey Show, which enables ordinary bee-keepers to attend talks by internationa||y—renowned speakers and keep up to date with the latest research.

Ownership & copyright © 
This Newsletter and its contents are owned by Philip Traill, it's content including each and every photograph are protected by copyright, trade mark law and other related intellectual property rights. 
No part of the Newsletter and photograph's may be copied or distributed by any means without the explicit writen permission of the photographer, Philip Traill. Contact details are above -

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