Here's Bee Inspector Charles Millar disturbing a bee's nest. Relax, he's doing it for the good of bee colonies nationwide. Charles works for the The Food and Environment Research Agency as an inspector in the National Bee Unit and he's inspecting this colony for signs of disease, which you'll be pleased to hear there were none.
I've never photographed a bee colony before and it was a very strange and tricky experience. I was of course dressed in the same protective clothing as Charles but the sound of a few hundred bees buzzing around your head is totally unnerving and makes it very hard to concentrate. I guess it's an inbuilt survival mechanism, much like the sound of crying babies, you just can't ignore the noise. My brain switched between screaming 'run for the hills' and making me think one of the little buggers had gotten inside my suit, which made it difficult to focus on the photography. Luckily the cold weather meant that the majority of the bees did not take flight to defend the nest from the invading inspector and photographer. Call me a cream-puff but I would not like to try that on a warm and sunny day. Charles said I was very brave for my first time, so there.