Plan Bee

At The Story Hive (the home of amazing audio stories) we chose as our main symbol and logo, the humble or not so humble bee. Representing our project site as a hive buzzing with stories we knew would be as rich and wonderful as honey.

From ancient times until the present day the bee has been seen as a symbol of life, good luck, fertility, knowledge and growth. Through the ages it has been found as a decoration on stoneware, jewellery and even printed on clothing and carved on buildings. The power of this image easy to understand. The bee pollinates the flowers, and the crops grow. They are life givers. Precious to us. But with the onset of the giant agricultural corporations and agri-chemical companies we now find their very existence under threat. From destroyed habitats, genetically modified plants and crops, to pesticides and fertilisers all these new developments are proving deadly to these essential little friends of mankind.

With this in mind, world famous photographer Tony Briggs, and his wife Alice are bringing a tiny bit of light into this fast-approaching darkness at their small holding in a corner of North Essex in the United Kingdom at Great Leigh. Tony is intending to reintroduce a native bee species (The black bee) and further intends to install honeybee colonies in homes and businesses in the Southeast, where he can supply and manage bee hives and extract honey for schools, community groups, people and businesses who are looking to increase their support for biodiversity and sustainability.

After a photography career shooting ‘90s icons and major advertising campaigns, from Kate Moss, Ali G and Bill Bailey to Ronaldinho, Raymond Blanc, and Ocean Colour Scene, Tony is now hooked on his new role as an apiarist? “It’s time to slow down a bit, enjoy the beautiful countryside that surrounds us, and do my bit to keep it healthy and productive for future generations. Even if you don’t have room for a beehive or two, everyone can do their bit for nature with one or two pots of bee-friendly flowers. I’d like to spread the joy (and honey!) of these fascinating creatures as far and wide as possible.”

Tony’s method of beekeeping has a light touch, there’s no unnecessary interfering and the bees are mostly left to themselves and only the excess honey is taken off the most well-established colonies. Most of his hives have been established from wild natural swarms that wouldn’t survive wet winters; his first consideration is always the bees.

His natural beekeeping approach, as far as possible, allows bees to live as they do in nature. This includes their environmental, genetic and management dimensions and particularly their natural honey making abilities. As Tony says: “The comb honey I produce is as natural and as organic as I can control, as our orchard, vegetable garden and wild forage is grown entirely without chemicals and pesticides”.

So please go to to join his efforts and find out more. Plan Bee is fully supported and endorsed by us here at The Story Hive.

The Story Hive Team – London


In Tony and Alice’s honour we have created this special page and this story written just for him and Alice which we dedicate to them as a thank you in acknowledgement and awe of their valiant and vital work. Please click the link below to listen to their special story, and we’d really appreciate if you’d like to share it with family and friends.

Plan Bee: The Last Bee