Passionate about Honey

It’s almost 20 years since Steve Benbow was sitting in London pining for the lanes and hedgerows of his native Shropshire. In those days he was a photo-journalist, but as a frustrated country boy he was inspired to re-create a little bit of the countryside in the city. So – encouraged by a bunch of bandit urban beekeepers he had met in New York – he set up some beehives on the roof of his funky flat in Tower Bridge.

Who knew, but bees thrive in the relatively warm, relatively green environment of London, where there are lots of trees and a diversity of plants unharmed by industrial farming methods, and before long Steve was adding more hives, and producing jars of complex, citrussy London honey. The London Honey Company – as it became known – has moved on quite a lot since those early days, setting up home in Bermondsey and spreading its hives around the country. It also also looks after hives for other people – for example, the Tate and the V&A – and produces honey on their behalf. Steve remains passionate about bees and the company still has plenty of hives in London, not least on a barge not far from his old Tower Bridge flat. Its sells honeycombs, honey in jars and all sorts of related products online (and on Saturdays from its southeast London HQ), and its honey features regularly on the menus of high-end London restaurants. It also runs regular beekeeping courses and in general flies a very active flag for urban beekeeping. Those New York bee bandits would be proud...

London Honey Company Arch 7 Spa Business Park Dockley Road London SE16 3FJ 0207 394 7072

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