Beekeeping in built-up areas has grown in popularity over the past decade. Bermondsey is buzzing when it comes to honey making.
A quarter of Londoners suffer the irritation of hayfever which kicks off in the summer months and even as early as spring time.
Living with streaming eyes, tickly throats and a runny nose is no fun at all but some believe that a spoon of local honey a day can help to relieve the symptoms of hayfever.
We needn’t look far for what ancient Greeks called the food of gods.
A Victorian sugar warehouse overlooking The Shard isn’t the most obvious place to keep bees.
But it’s just the spot where Bermondsey Street Bees owner and beekeeper Dale Gibson houses his beehives, which have produced prize winning honey.
Dale Gibson swapped his early mornings as a stockbroker for early mornings at his urban bee farm.
The company shares its harvest with local restaurants including Bermondsey Street’s Jose Pizarro through to top UK chefs including Tom Aikens and Tom Kerridge.
Bermondsey Street Bees also collaborates with Hannah Rhodes, founder of Hiver beers. Her honey-brewed beer is sold to the biggest names on the high street, from Marks and Spencer, to Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
Elsewhere in Bermondsey, the London Honey Company has been making its mark. Steve Benbow installed a hive full of Gloucestershire bees behind the lift shaft on his roof and saw this thrive to produce thick honey.
The company is now based in a Bermondsey warehouse and supplies the tearooms at The Savoy and Harvey Nichols, delis and farmers’ markets across the capital. You can even find it sold at Maltby Street Market at the weekends.
It may just help those summer sniffles or even make you smarter (so we’ve read!) but one thing is for certain – Bermondsey has a sweet deal when it comes to honey.
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