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Plight of the Honeybee

They’re disappearing…

I’ve been thinking long and hard about what my first post should be.   Seeing as spring is finally in full swing here in Athens, I thought it most appropriate to talk about my passion for all things bee. I always thought when I’d move back home I’d set up my own hive in my back yard and make my very own honey – urban style.  And now I’m home. Spring is here and the bees are out.

I became a little obsessed with honeybees after visiting the absolutely charming Hive Honey Shop on Northcote Road over a year go. The shop sells honey and honey products from all over the world as well as from their own hive in residential Wandsworth.  I never knew how common urban hives were!  Their Wandsworth honey is positively divine and the reason for urban honey being so good is the variety of flowers on offer thanks to the numerous parks, gardens, wasteland etc in London and of course, most cities.  You can read more about the rise in beekeeping in London here.

However, I wasn’t aware until now how endangered bees are and indeed how important they are to our every day lives.  I ordered a bunch of books from Amazon and I even signed up to attend a beekeeping course via Urban Bees in Battersea, London.  I wanted to help the bees.

They really are quite the irresistible things – they help to pollinate beautiful flowers, fruits and vegetables and they make a gorgeous natural sweetener which is both beautiful in taste and colour (not to mention it’s health and beauty benefits). As a by-product of the honey-making process, beeswax is used for numerous things not least of all to make gorgeous pure candles.  And last but not least, bees live an admirably disciplined and hardworking life, one which we could all learn from.

What’s not to love? Next time you see a bee, put the folded newspaper away and take a moment to stop and appreciate its beauty, its skill and its hard-working nature…

I’ll keep you posted on how I get on with making like a bee and getting busy setting up my own hive.

Books about Honey & Bees

I would recommend this book to absolutely everyone whether they’re interested in bees or not.  It is thoroughly fascinating in the way it chronicles how bees and honey have influenced human life in the areas of work, sex, politics, food & drink, and life & death through the ages.  Very easy to read and dip in and out of, but it will keep you hooked with it’s charming illustrations and photos and the author’s passionate foodie voice shining through.

**They have a bee-keeping course available in Battersea. Visit the link here for more info 

Books on how to set up your own hive

Resources in the UK and US to learn more about bees and to attend beekeeping classes

Honey-based beauty products you should try

Honey Recipes

Honey & Home-made beauty

How you can help the bees

Are you planning on helping out the bees this summer?

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