The big capitals of the world are showing an amazing enthusiasm for beekeeping. In London, mayor Boris Johnson has launched a campaign to make the capital “bee friendly”… Apiaries and community gardens have been set up, and – in time for the Olympic Games – the city can boast the creation of 2012 parks… In Berlin, the green city, apiaries have been installed since 2011. The city counts 750 beekeepers, and 2,500 hives. During the flowering of the linden trees, professional beekeepers bring more than 10,000 hives into the city for an urban transhumance! In New York, the prohibition on keeping hives was lifted as a result of a campaign by Just Food, an activist organization promoting access to healthy food for everyone.
    The spiritual father to all these beekeepers is Jean Paucton, the legendary Parisian beekeeper on the roof of the Opéra Garnier. In Paris, the bee is chic; it symbolizes a commitment to the environment. Nicolas Géant who picked up the beekeeping torch rents colonies each year with the slogan “The city bee is doing better than the bee of the fields”… Paris counts 300 hives.
    The lofty idea of placing a wooden box on a building has spread all the way to Hong Kong, the business capital of the Middle Empire. The few apiaries on Kowloon are kept by designers and architects, which thus assures publicity. The benefits of honey! Despite the economic crisis, the question of a green evolution of our society tops the bill at the world RIO+20 summit. In 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be city dwellers.

–Eric Tourneret


Eric Tourneret  A photojournalist for 25 years, his favorite work involves studies of subcultures and human interest stories. In 2004, he began an in-depth work on bees and beekeeping. His features show the diversity and the deep-rootedness of beekeeping in different civilizations.
     In the heart of nature, these human stories tell of the cultures and techniques that are in danger of disappearing with globalization.
     A committed photographer, Eric Tourneret seeks to show that the disappearance of the species is not something inevitable, but simply a question of priorities and values. His photographs have been exhibited worldwide at photofestivals and in museums. He is the author of several monographs.