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Urban bee keeping workshops

16th January 2015 Print
Camilla Goddard

With our bees continuing to face major challenges, Camilla Goddard of Capital Bee is keen to mobilise more of us to step up for bees and is holding small group taster bee keeping workshops at St Ermin's Hotel, central London during the Chelsea Fringe; £25pp on Saturdays 16th April, 2nd, 16th and 23rd May.

“Sadly it takes a crisis before people start to notice and value these small but immensely industrious creatures – and just small steps in our garden planting – to provide forage year round - can make an enormous difference, she commented.

Working with the St Ermin's Hotel in St James's Park, which is already home to a thriving colony of 300,000 Buckfast honey bees, the 2.5 hour workshops outline the complexities of bee society and beehaviour; highlight the close relationship between bees and flowers and give guidance on what to plant, when and where and how best to site hives in gardens or allotments. Participants also visit London's first 'Bee & B' hotel on the hotel's third floor wildflower terrace to get real hands-on experience handling bees, managing their hives and collecting raw honey.

The St Ermin's hotel's bijou new 'Bee & B' is formed of stylish purple hexagonal suites, each sporting a different theme to provide a welcome home for all kinds of visiting bee species. Peaceful bamboo nesting areas and condominiums (in modern block design or traditional log style) are for solitary bees such as the leaf-cutter bee, whilst the bijou boxes are for social breeds such as the tree bumblebee. The bee hotel also provides a variety of special areas for other helpful insects: The discerning lacewing will be enchanted by the rolled cardboard swirls and all types of ladybirds, earwigs, woodlice and spiders will find peaceful resting places amongst the crevice stacks.

A Honeyed Stay:

For guests with only two legs and no wings who would like to check in for an overnight stay and bee keeping workshop in April, May or September, prices start from £259.00 per night (room only). See

St Ermin's Hotel Bee Keeping Workshops, lead by bee guru Camilla Goddard, run from 12 noon to 2.30pm on select dates and cost £25 pp including a floral cocktail at the Caxton Bar. Full bee suits provided. For further information and to reserve a place during the Chelsea Fringe period email Gemma Wren on: gwren[at]

Chelsea Fringe Dates:

Saturday 25th April

Saturday 2nd May

Saturday 16th May

Saturday 23rd May

Further dates for September, the hotel's annual honey month, will be announced shortly, please check website for details.  To register your interest please email Gemma Wren.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Camilla Goddard