Honeybees have been having a hard time. Their numbers are falling and yet they play a vital role in life on earth. Without bees, many of our favourite fruits, vegetables, and nuts could vanish and up to half of our food supply could disappear. Yet help may be at hand. Beekeeping is becoming a popular past time for eco-conscious urban dwellers and there are 274,000 colonies in Britain tended by 44,000 bee keepers producing some 6,000 tonnes of honey a year. Chris Barnes and Paul Webb are just two of this growing breed of urban apiarists. “To be able to have that direct relationship with an animal and learn more about its fascinating behaviour whilst still being in the city is very special” says Paul.