Urban beekeeping has become increasingly popular over the last 6 years but it needs to go hand in hand with urban gardening: if there are no flowers in the city how will the bees survive?
Red Carnation Hotels have taken a holistic approach to the art of beekeeping and have combined the installation of beehives at one London property with creating a ‘living wall’ at another just a short distance away. The Chesterfield Mayfair was chosen for its prime location surrounded by three Royal parks to provide plenty of foraging opportunities. London honey is prized for its complex flavour because of the wide variety of trees and plants found here. It also offers a wider foraging season from the blossoming cherry trees in March to ivy in October.
Bees are an essential part of day-to-day life and research has shown that one in three mouthfuls of the food we eat is dependent on pollination. Through presenting the story of our apiary and training interested staff as beekeepers we are helping people understand how bees contribute to the environment and how we can help them survive and thrive in the centre of London.
We have been collecting and recycling the beeswax into candles for our guests and have already enjoyed our first harvest of honey which will be in July 2014. Our afternoon tea has been given a honeybee twist and now offers edible flowers and pollen on the pastries to remind guests of how much bees contribute to our food.