Beekeepers of North Carolina
'Beekeepers of North Carolina' is an ongoing project.
I began photographing beekeepers and honey bees while studying photography at the Australian National University during a year-long student exchange program from 2014-2015. For approximately three and a half months, I shadowed local beekeepers in Canberra, AU, while also working with the ANU Apiculture Society. My goal was to document the processes and practices of beekeeping while also highlighting the problems honey bees and beekeepers alike were facing in Australia at that time. Upon my return to the United States, I had one more year remaining at college in North Carolina and after graduating in May of 2016, I decided to continue photographing beekeepers.
From February to April of this year, I photographed beekeepers across North Carolina and thus far this project has taken me over 5,000 miles, from the coast to the Piedmont, up into the mountains and back again, on multiple occasions. Additionally, I conducted interviews with each beekeeper that coincide with the portraits which help shed light on the highly diverse backgrounds of these interesting people and to further provide educational information to my audience about beekeeping and honey bees. Some of these beekeepers have been keeping bees for over 70 years, while others are fairly new to the practice; however, all of them demonstrated various approaches to the ever-changing atmosphere of beekeeping and their creative solutions to combat the many problems faced by beekeepers today emphasized the determination of these hard-working North Carolinians.