Mural, East Dulwich, 2013.
For a unique taste of London, go in search of some of its local honey. From the rooftop of an international brand consultant through to hives in St Peters Church Brockley, Londoners have enthusiastically embraced the plight of the London bee. And while 2012 was not a good year due to the poor weather conditions, you can still source this local treat.
With sites in Greenwich Royal Park, London Fields and Covent Garden, you could say that Capital Bee is a true Londoner. Set up by Camilla Goddard in response to the critical shortage of honey bee colonies in Britain, she also manages a bee rescue service. To reserve your pot of 2013 honey, simply send Capital Bee an email. The new Covent Garden honey can be found at Melvita's store in Covent Garden.
London Honey Company
Over 14 years ago Steve Benbow looked to the rooftops of London to fulfil his yearnings to keep bees in London. A strident ambassador for urban bee keeping ever since, he continues to pursue his passion with his open studio at Spa Terminus, regular beekeeping courses, market stalls, and hives throughout UK and London including the rooftops of Fortnum and Mason, Tate Modern and Tate Britain.
Regent’s Park Honey
In the heart of the city is London’s picturesque Regent Park, home to a colony of bees kept by Pure Food’s Toby Mason. Toby has been selling his unique honey for the last five years. The taste of this very local honey (t is rare for the bees to venture beyond the park) changes with the seasons. One season you might detect elderflowers and limes; another, roses. Stockists include Planet Organic, Melrose and Morgan, and Sourced Market. Toby also conducts beekeeping courses at Zoo Train with John Hauxwell.
The Golden Co
Based in East London, The Golden Co is a social enterprise, working with young people to care for hives located at St. Mary’s Secret Garden. With a deep commitment to human ecology, this unique enterprise not only fosters a sense of community but offers training and development opportunities for young people in the area. You can buy Golden Co honey as well as honey from other very small London producers at London’s Borough Market on the last Saturday of every month.
Started by Brian McCallum and Alison Benjamin in West London with a single hive in their garden, Urban Bee is now a thriving social enterprise. Offering training courses for aspiring bee keepers and working in partnership with companies such as the Co-op Group, it is more than fulfilling its mission to promote bee-friendly spaces throughout London. You can buy its honey at A Gold in Spitalfields. On their website, you’ll also find a bee guide – a map that identifies people who want to offer their land and for people who want to learn.
The Honey Club
Named by Nokia as its social innovator of the week in May 2012, the Honey Club is committed to saving the world’s bee population starting with in its own local community in Kings Cross North London. Run by a joint team between Wolff Olins (international brand consultants) and Global Generation, it hosts 100 000 honey bees on the Wolff Olins roof garden. The club hosts five events a year including how to bake with honey. On 25.07.2013, you’ll find them at the Filling Station, London. Check the website for details.
The Hive Honey Shop
Three-generations of bee keeping are at the heart of this purveyor of honey in London’s SW11. Among its extensive stock of candles, pollen, cakes, beauty products, tinctures, you’ll find English wildflower honey, gourmet honey like raspberry, linden blossom, orange, as well as London honey.
93 Northcote Road SW11 6PL
Tel: 020 7924 6233
North London Beekeepers
North London Beekeepers has been the home of beekeeping since the 1930s. You can often find its members honey at local markets near its apiary near Kenwood House, Hampstead.
Capital Bee is a campaign dedicated to tackling the decline of the bee population in London. In 2011, it trained 50 communities across London to become community beekeepers. To take the pledge to help London’s bees or find your local hive, visit their website.