We are two friends, Nikola and Frank, who have established an apiary at the bottom of our 200 foot garden in St John’s Wood. 2017 is our third year of beekeeping, and we currently have six hives full of happy and busy bees.
Our bees explore and forage in a 5km radius which includes the gardens on Hamilton Terrace, Paddington Recreation Ground, the Little Venice Canals, Regents Park, Violet Hill, Hyde Park and everywhere else in between. We also grow strawberries, tomatoes and herbs and have a garden full of flowers (thanks in part to our bees!). We are very lucky to have lovely neighbours who have allowed us to set up our apiary in the area and who appreciate why keeping bees is beneficial to the environment and to us, as humans.
As our bees have been so busy over the past season, that we have a surplus of honey. Please click on the “Contact” tab on the top right-hand corner of this page if you would like to purchase a pot of local honey, or if you just want to drop us a line!
We are amateur, urban beekeepers and are learning as we go along. In fact, you never stop learning about bees. We belong to the North London Beekeepers Association and the London Beekeeping Association and regularly attend meetings, so that we can learn more about bees and how best to look after them.
In an urban environment, it is important to minimise swarms, to keep the neighbourhood peace. We have had a couple of swarms; on both occasions the bees have congregated on the highest branch of the pear tree in our neighbour’s garden (see photo below) while the scouts go out searching for a new location for the queen and her followers. On both occasions we have managed to recapture the swarm and reintroduce them back into the apiary into a new hive, without harm – although one year we did not put brood frames into the hive quickly enough and the bees made their own beautiful wild comb – see the photo below.
Capturing a swarm in our neighbour’s pear tree
Wild comb constructed by a swarm when they were captured in a box
Even our two cats, Poppy and Ruby, keep an eye on the busy bees!
Six busy hives provide lots of honey!
We have extracted, filtered and bottled our honey and are selling 8oz hexagonal pots for £6.50 to our friends and neighbours.
50p from each pot will be donated directly to Bees Abroad, a charity which seeks to relieve poverty by teaching beekeeping skills in developing countries worldwide. Volunteer beekeepers from Bees Abroad work with local groups on beekeeping projects which provide a sustainable source of income in poor rural communities.