I love honey. But I mean I really love honey. I love the ooze and the sticky and amazing goldeness of it…. and I love it spread thickly over hot buttered toast, while it drips off the sides and down my chin.
But mostly, I love the story of honey. I love that bees MAKE IT. They actually do! I know we know this but think for a second – bees actually make honey. It’s a blimmin miracle.
There has been a real push in London over the past few years, to help support the bees in their quest and keep them alive and buzzing and their little knees knocking. So there are now hidden spots all over the city, where beehives have been erected, people in all kinds of jobs dabble in, or have mastered, bee keeping, and lovely local London honey is being created by London bees and their knees for you to buy and gobble up for brekky.
Here are just a few…
The Honey Club
The Honey Club is on a mission to save the world’s bee population and it has begun with the buzzy bees in Kings Cross, where there are over 100 000 honey bees on the Wolff Olins roof garden.
The Hive Honey Shop
This lovely little family-run shop is in its 3rd generation of bee keepers and honey makers… and they don’t just make honey! Nope, you’ll find candles, cakes, beauty products etc. And of course a wide range of honey including English wildflower honey, raspberry honey, linden blossom… I could go on…
The London Honey Company
“Fourteen years ago I decided I wanted to keep bees in Central London — there was a problem: we lived on the 6th story of an ex-council block near Tower Bridge with no garden. The only viable outside space, well viable to me, was the flat roof accessed via a fire escape…
It worked like a dream. I located my first hive behind the lift shaft and the bees started producing incredible honey. But that was just the start. By the following year I had hives tucked slyly into all sorts of odd locations around the city. The bee empire continued to grow and expand and I now manage hives across the UK. It’s a passion as much as a business and it requires a nomadic lifestyle.”
Urban Bees was set up a few years ago by Brian McCallum and Alison Benjamin. They wanted to share their passion for their new hobby with other urban dwellers and to make cities more bee-friendly… you can buy their yummy honey at A Gold in Spitalfields.
The Golden Co
A brilliant social enterprise, The Golden Co is working with young people to care for hives located at St. Mary’s Secret Garden. They are committed to their community and also educating young people in the area, so offer a number of training and development opportunities. You can buy their honey at Borough Market!
Regent’s Park Honey
Toby Mason is chief (and I believe, the only) bee keeper at Regents Park Honey HQ. This very fine honey, is produced in very limited quantities so grab some when you find it! See website for stockists.
Set up by Camilla Goddard in response to the critical shortage of honey bee colonies in Britain, Capital Bee has sites in Greenwich Royal Park, London Fields and Covent Garden…
The London Bee Company
Free Local HONEY Delivery (Kingston – Surbiton – Strawberry Hill – Twickenham)
“Our mission at The London Bee Company is to promote healthy bee colonies in a sustainable and responsible manner. We believe that healthy bees make a healthy planet, and are therefore doing our part to combat declining honey bee populations.”
If you’re now all inspired and fancy your luck at keeping some bees and producing your own honey (HOW COOL!) see the below links, pinched from The Guardian.
Your local beekeeping association will run courses, night classes and mentor schemes.
Bee Friendly ccollective is based in Todmorden and practises natural beekeeping. It is taking on new members and runs beekeeping courses over the summer.
Urban and Community Beekeeping run taster courses throughout the summer.
The London Honey Company, runs a one-day practical course in beekeeping as well as taster sessions.
The Natural Beekeeping Trust runs courses throughout the summer at various locations around the country.
I’m buzzing off now. But not before I’ve shared with you my favourite Bee Plate from Anthropologie :)