Terry Firkins is not unlike the bees he keeps; he keeps his head down, stays busy and gets on with the job. Although he's very quick witted and funny, he's not much of an attention seeker.
"I'm shy and it was a good way not to meet people," Terry says when asked why he started beekeeping in the first place.
But beekeeping was also something of a family legacy.
Terry's father was a fruit grower, but owned 600 beehives on the side, a venture Terry describes as a "hobby."
"He was a businessman," Terry laughs, "unlike me."
When he went into retirement from the fruit farms in 1966, Terry's father kept the beehives to keep himself busy.
But first, he made Terry sign a contract saying he would never keep more than 40 hives. The cunning businessman wanted to eliminate competition in any form, even from his own son.
But Terry had been bitten, or stung, by the beekeeping bug, and was not deterred.
He started his first two hives by cutting wild swarms out of trees with a chainsaw. Slowly but surely Terry started to build up his own small collection of bees.
Soon, even his father fell ill and was forced to finally stop working, so he sold 400 of his hives to Terry.
"It's very easy to increase bees, and much harder to decrease," Terry says.
"If you have a hive out with honeycomb in it, they will swarm to it."
So it wasn't long before Terry had 600 hives of his own. But he quickly realised that was too much like hard work.
"I kept saying to my wife that we'll wait until the bumper year."
"Then it happened and I had 20 tonnes of honey to sell, in a time when the price of honey was plummeting."
"Afterwards I said if that was the bumper year, I never want to do it again."
These days, Terry isn't exactly sure how many hives he has. He thinks there's at least a few hundred, stacked in ramshackle piles in a large rust stained shed and spilling into the yard.
He says the key to beekeeping is flexibility.
When his father first moved to Gloucestershire, rapeseed had just begun to be planted in mass quantities.
The bees happily harvest the rape, but it needs to be collected by the beekeeper quickly as it starts to set hard within 3 days.
Terry's father didn't know this, and by the time he came to take the honey, it was completely solid and almost useless.
Does that mean Terry finds rapeseed farms a real pain?
"No of course not," he says, balancing on a wooden stepladder. In one hand is a wooden frame from the beehive, in the other he has a sharp tool.
Slowly and laboriously, Terry scrapes the solidified honey into a large vat, which will melt it back to the liquid form.
The vat seems to be the only piece of modern equipment in Terry's entire operation. He stands in a room in his garden shed, the walls are sealed with plastic and on the floor stands a small radiator, it's elements glowing red to keep the heat in. There are no temperature gauges or table top extractors. But the bees fly in and out of a crack in the window, happily harvesting.
"The bees will do what they want," Terry says.
"You just need to learn to adapt."