Why bees?

People keep asking me ‘why do you want to keep bees?’ It’s difficult to explain.
I’ve always secretly fancied myself as Felicity Kendal in The Good Life? Well maybe a little bit but I don’t do all the other things like grow my own food, I get one of those organic boxes delivered.
I’ve always loved honey? Yes, that’s true, but I’m not keeping the bees primarily for their tasty secretions.
It’s partly about creating a little corner of the countryside in W9. After all, my cottage-style garden looks like a meadow in the spring and a beehive completes the pastiche.
It’s partly because I like bumblebees – because they’re furry and synonymous with a perfect English summer’s day – and knowing nothing about honeybees, I thought they were the same thing!
But the main reason for my new hobby is that I read an article a couple of years ago which said around 70% of the food that we eat depends on bee pollination and that bees are threatened by intensive farming and urban sprawl, so it seemed an easy way to save the planet.
What turned this nice thought into action, however, was my new boyfriend. For my birthday, Brian bought me a beekeeping book and paid for us both to go on a one-day introduction to beekeeping course at Roots and Shoots. At the end of the day, I was hooked. We saw their hives and the bees coming and going. It didn’t need to be difficult or technical – although some men seem to turn beekeeping into a biology lesson. There were people on hand to help. I joined the London Beekeepers Association and signed up for a swarm of bees. That was back in January…

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