For John, beekeeping represents escape from the pressures of life and work. When he enters his apiary and closes the gate behind him, he is immediately at peace and feels a very different sense of connection with the world around him. All the noises of the town are still there but they become little more than a familiar backdrop as a far richer multisensory symphony of natural rhythms comes to the fore all around him. He enjoys the coming and going of the seasons; the cawing of the high-flying crows who live in a nearby tree and have become his friends; the hedgehogs; and the toads. He loves the luxuriant botanical chaos of the untended borders and the teeming biodiversity of the largely neglected and increasingly bumpy lawn. Of course, in the middle of all this are his many honey bee colonies which seem to get darker and easier to handle with every new generation of locally-reared queen. Very few things can match the simple pleasure of lying on one’s back in long grass on a summer’s day, surrounded by one’s own bee hives and gazing up at the sky to watch honey bees in their many thousands as they go about their activities, completely unbeknown to people walking to and from the town centre just yards away on the other side of a simple brick wall.