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Steve Benbow, homes wanted for bees

October 21, 2009
by the gentle author

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This is Steve Benbow, the urban beekeeper and he needs homes for his bees. No doubt you’ve heard of the drastic decline in the bee population and I am sure you are also aware that our very existence depends on bees to pollinate the plants that grow our food. Steve explained to me that GM crops and pesticide spraying are making life difficult for bees in our countryside, so he is trying to find locations for one hundred beehives in London by next Summer. The city is the future for bees, he says.

If you have a garden, or a yard, or a rooftop, or any secure exterior space measuring five square metres that could offer a home to five hives, Steve wants to hear from you. He would require access once a week during the Summer to tend the hives and pay rent to you in jars of delicious honey. Be assured, his bees are carniolans - a gentle species that will not cause a hazard.

I invited Steve over to Spitalfields last Sunday to take a look at my garden in the hope it might be suitable for beehives, but unfortunately he says there is not enough sunlight. So I am hoping that there are some other people in the neighbourhood that can help out instead.

Steve has been producing London honey for years and he says the vegetation and green spaces here make it ideal for bees. Some readers may remember him selling his honey in the Spitalfields Market in the past. Steve runs the London Honey Company and currently has hives placed on the roof of Fortnum & Mason (to whom he is the official beekeeper), at the Barnes Wetland Centre, on a roof in Tooley St and on barges by Tower Bridge. London honey is prized for its complexity of taste and honey from each borough is inflected with different qualities, Piccadilly honey has a hint of lime while Tower Bridge honey has a whiff of toffee. I want Steve to place hives here in the neighbourhood so I can discover the unique flavour of Spitalfields honey.

If you can help by providing a home for Steve’s bees please email steve.benbow@btinternet.com

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One Response leave one →
  1. Tony Hart permalink
    October 21, 2009

    Hi Steve,

    Do get in touch re bees in town. I would be interested in having them in my flower and veg stocked garden. Plus, I am involved in an education-based community food growing project, to which Tower Hamlets have expressed a committment to proceed…we would love bees on site from the outset.

    Regards,

    Tony Hart

    DigFood@VictoriaPark Steering Group

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