Seen from above, London’s very green! London beekeepers are lucky; with masses of gardens, parks, fruit trees, allotments etc, flowers and nectar are available nearly all year round. Our warmer microclimate means there’s also a longer season for the bees to get out and about. Because of this, London bees tend to make lots of honey. In a good year a single London hive can make up to 90 lbs of honey.
Having started with one hive in the back garden, we now have a number of beehives across Kensington and Chelsea. We’re blessed with loads of green spaces very close by including Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Holland Park and all the garden squares and private gardens which the Royal Borough is famous for.
The bees will fly up to 3 miles from the hive to collect the best nectar. Their favourite forage of all seems to be lime trees but they’re busy collecting nectar most of the year – there’s always something in flower.
Our original bees live at the bottom of the garden in traditional wooden hives, under a huge London plane tree. The garden faces south, so the sun hits the hives in the morning, warming the bees up and encouraging them to go foraging. Most of our bees are of Buckfast origin, from Devon – they’re peaceful, very productive and disinclined to swarming. We do have one hive of Eastern European bees who we’ve noticed seem to get up earlier than the others and work longer days.
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