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Inside the Life of a Beekeeper with @girlnextdoorhoney

To see more photos and videos of Hilary’s daily encounters with bees, follow @girlnextdoorhoney on Instagram.

“Everything about bees is surprising and fascinating,” says beekeeper Hilary Kearney (@girlnextdoorhoney). Hilary started her own beekeeping business in her hometown of San Diego, California, after reading about it in a book. “Unlike traditional beekeepers,” she explains, “most of my hives are in urban and suburban settings, as I believe in integrating bees back into our daily lives.” Now an owner of around 40 beehives, Hilary also services bee removals, holds educational classes and runs a “host a hive program” that places beehives in volunteers’ backyards.

As a beekeeper, Hilary strives to educate people about the friendly nature of honeybees and how much they contribute to our lives. With a background in visual arts, she uses Instagram as a channel to artistically communicate information about bees and their behaviors. In one of her photos, she documents what’s known as festooning, where bees hold onto each other to create a scaffold while they build honeycombs. “It’s one of my favorite things that bees do,” she says. “My visual inspiration mostly comes from the bees themselves, but my urge to share and teach is what motivates me.”