You may or may not have heard, but the UK is experiencing something of a bee crisis. Our native bee population has declined in recent years, so much so that some farmers are importing thousands of them from elsewhere.
Bees are essential to the environment and our food supply, which is why these London hotels are doing their bit to support Britain’s bees…
St Ermin’s is probably the London hotel most famous for keeping bees. Not only do they have more than 300,000 of their own Buckfast bees, but they also provide a place to stay for wild bees too.
On top of their own hives, cared for by beekeeper Camilla Goddard from Capital Bee, last year they introduced a “bee hotel” to encourage visitors to their rooftop too. The first in London and designed by Ms. Goddard, it’s the ideal environment for lots of different bee species. The hotel’s own bees also produce honey that they use in their menus during the autumn.
The Chesterfield Mayfair also harvests honey from their own bees, which they last year used in a special honey afternoon tea.
They also use wax from their hives to create candles for guests. Interested staff members can receive training in beekeeping, spending time with the apiary to learn about bees and how to care for them. Red Carnation also support bees with their Living Wall at The Rubens at the Palace nearby.
The Lancaster London was a pioneer in urban beekeeping, installing hives in 2009 and reaching their current 10 by 2010.
Like other beekeeping hotels, they also use the honey their bees produce in their restaurant menus, as well as giving it as gifts to their guests and clients. The hotel also holds the London Honey Show, which began in 2011. Now an annual event, it will be back this year in October 2015.
Other London hotels that have supported bees in the capital include The Athenaeum and Myhotel Chelsea. Surprisingly, the urban environment of London is ideal for bees due to lower pesticide use, among other reasons.
If more hotels join in with the campaign to save our bees, London could soon become a hotspot for bee conservation.
Photo credits: Lancaster London, St Ermin’s Hotel, The Chesterfield Mayfair.