Style & Then Some

My new hobby: Urban beekeeping

Brian McCallum's Bees in the City beekeeping book urban beekeeping guide beekeeping guidebook bee hives in city keeping bees in london

This week I experienced my first taste of what I hope will become my new hobby: beekeeping. Sadly, I didn’t get to put on one of those bodysuits with a big mesh hood and get up close and personal with any of the little honeymakers just yet. This was a two-hour introductory class to the world of the honey bee, and how you can keep a hive in an urban environment. Part of a Victoria Business Improvement District initiative, two hives are going to be installed on the roof of my office block next spring, and I’m going to get involved with looking after them and harvesting their honey.

I feel like I’ve always had a thing about bees (check out a few of the bee paraphernalia I’ve collected in the photo below), but in reality I was probably scared of them when I was a child, and with good reason. Now I love them. I love their furry black and yellow stripes (so stylish – like they’ve got Sonia Rykiel jumpers on) and their penchant for hexagons. I love that they produce that delicious sticky golden toast accompaniment – and did you know honey is the only food stuff that never goes off? Some of it was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb apparently, still nowhere near its use by date. Plus, they’re vital for pollination but their numbers have been dwindling in recent years.

So I’m very excited about getting the chance to boost my local bee population and hopefully get some homemade honey too. At the workshop on Wednesday Brian McCallum, co-founder of social enterprise Urban Bees, told us all the basics, from bee anatomy and how a colony works, to honey production and what it takes to become a beekeeper. I found it absolutely fascinating, and next week I’ll be compiling a top ten of the best bee facts I learned and posting them here. We all got a copy of Brian’s book Bees in the City too, which I will be avidly reading in preparation for the next step, which apparently is a bee theory course. I don’t know if everyone else at the class today was still as keen by the end, but, personally, I was buzzing*.

*please be aware of the amount of willpower it took to get that far without making a terrible bee pun.

Bee accessories bee necklace bee belt bee buckle honeycomb necklace beekeping urban beekeeping

A few of the bee accessories I've collected - a buckle, a pendant and a framed emboidered picture



9 comments on “My new hobby: Urban beekeeping

  1. Olivia
    October 9, 2011

    I can’t wait to read your bee facts! They are such interesting creatures. Have you seen Bee Movie? I highly recommend it.

    • blondekatie
      October 9, 2011

      It’s true they’re so interesting, facts coming up on tuesday. I haven’t seen Bee movie, I definitely need to though! x

  2. Sophie Caldecott
    October 10, 2011

    I really want Alex Monroe’s bee pendant, and this has fuelled my desire…!

  3. Pingback: 10 Un-bee-lievable facts about bees | Style and Then Some

  4. Pingback: Adorable accessories alert: Knit your own hedgehog mittens | Style and Then Some

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  6. AndyInHolland
    March 23, 2012

    My jar of lemon curd will be finished today. Any honey left, eh lovey?
    L, DD

    • blondekatie
      March 24, 2012

      We haven’t even got the bees yet! In the summer apparently. I’ll reserve you a pot.

  7. Pingback: Finally, I get my hands on some real live bees | Style and Then Some

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This entry was posted on October 9, 2011 by in And Then Some.
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