When Hilary Kearney, a beekeeper in San Diego, California, started her Instagram account three years ago, you wouldn’t have been able to pick it out of a crowd. There were the normal photos of vacations, friends, her garden, and some bee photos. Then Kearney, a hobbyist beekeeper at the time, got serious about her hobby. She started teaching beekeeping classes, offering bee removal services, and building up her own beehives (she now has approximately 40).
That average Instagram account turned into a virtual beekeeping class with over 13,000 followers–check out enough photos and captions and you will quickly know the basics about queens, wax moths, colonies, pollination, and everything else there is to know about bees.
“I think most people hope to get some kind of education about bees from my photos. Just seeing images of the inside of a beehive is something most people have never seen. The images alone can be eye-opening. I think people like to learn about bees and beekeeping from my account but also they like to just see what I am up to because my experiences are pretty unique,” Kearney writes in an email.
At first, Kearney, who gets to work on her hives year round in San Diego’s mild climate, would post her bee photos with short captions. Now, she’ll get dozens of questions if she doesn’t put up a detailed explanation of every image she posts. “It’s quite a bit more work! It is also a great opportunity to educate people who previously knew nothing about bees,” she writes.
Check out some of Kearney’s favorite bee photos from her Instagram account in the slide show above.