Registered beehives in the capital’s gardens and on rooftops have reached 5,500, in contrast with practically 1,700 in 2008. As there isn’t any obligation for beekeepers to have their hives registered, the determine is prone to be even increased.
Membership of beekeepers’ associations has additionally elevated, with ready lists to join and a surge in demand for coaching. Such a rise means London now has the densest inhabitants of honeybees in Europe.
Mark Patterson, forage officer for the London Beekeepers’ Association, mentioned: “We’re seeing extra members signing as much as native associations throughout London, the very best quantity in years.
“I do know some associations have closed or restricted membership as they couldn’t deal with the inflow of newcomers desirous to learn to preserve their very own bees.
“Beekeeping is escapism for metropolis dwellers — some take it up as a result of they need to reside the great life and be extra self-sufficient. It’s additionally an attention-grabbing passion to immerse your self in.”
A rising variety of companies are additionally becoming a member of the city beekeeping pattern. The Hilton London Bankside has put in 4 hives in a rooftop meadow and has been harvesting honey since 2016. The resort, which works with native producer Bermondsey Street Bees, is equipped with 70kg of honey every year from the hives. Its cooks use it to make honey bread and muesli as nicely as dishes on the primary menu.
Beekeeper Dale Gibson mentioned: “As a results of these revolutionary, sustainable actions, the Hilton London Bankside bees have thrived — as wholesome, calm and productive bees.
“The honey yields from these 4 hives have been spectacular — as soon as once more in 2019 — with the rooftop honey being celebrated by the cooks in the OXBO restaurant and mixologists on the Distillery Bar as a high quality meals product.”
A spokeswoman for the resort mentioned: “The productive use of its open spaces is part of Hilton London Bankside’s campaign to help maintain a sustainable London.”