Bees in the Burbs

honey tasting

Urban Bee Keeping Workshops at St Ermin’s Hotel

Harvest time at the St Ermin’s Hotel and the hard work of their 300,000 rooftop Buckfast bees is rewarded with honey-themed menus and cocktails throughout September. And, for the first time, this celebrated Westminster hotel is offering a series of urban bee keeping workshops hosted by bee guru Camilla Goddard of Capital Bee.

The ‘Bees in the Burbs’ taster workshops run at 2.30pm every Tuesday afternoon through September and cover bee basics; keeping, handling, safety, feeding and beehaviour, with introductory notes and planting list, a pot of St Ermin’s Honey plus a honey cream tea or honey-themed cocktail.

Camilla Goddard believes it is vitally important that as many people as possible try to support honey bees, “choice of planting can have a positive impact and urban environments can be very attractive to colonies. By keeping just one hive you immediately introduce 50,000 pollinators into an urban area and that has a huge impact on the environment.”

St. Ermin's Beekeeping Workshop

St Ermin’s ‘Bees in the Burbs’ workshops cost from just £15 per head with no more than 12 people per two hour session. All bee handling equipment, protective suits - and bees - provided.

Buckfast Bees at St Ermin’s Hotel

Two years after their arrival the St Ermin’s Hotel bees are going from strength to strength – indeed Camilla has seen them doing their ‘joy’ dance this Summer. Over 300,000 Buckfast bees are now happily established on the hotel’s rooftop and in a further three hives, safely viewable to guests on the wildflower third floor walkway. Flying a three-mile radius, the bees’ central London location gives them access to some of London’s most prestigious gardens and parks. Analysis of their late season honey shows that they gather their pollen from 53 astonishingly diverse types of plant flower; almost half Sweet Chestnut, with large proportions of Blackberry, Horse Chestnut, Elderflower, Mulberry and Water Lily pollens, plus Buddleia, White Clover and Myrtles.

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