The Carniolan bees – noted for their sweet nature – were first housed in Shropshire, where they produced the first batch of Fortnum’s Bees’ Honey in 2006. Now installed in their new residences on the roof of 181 Piccadilly, they fly high above Mayfair, visiting the grounds, gardens and squares of central London. See beecams.
The bees are supplied by and hives managed by Steve Benbow of the London Honey Company. Steve believes you can get away with putting hives in an urban setting practically anywhere. Steve’s job is to nurture a hard working, placid bee that will fulfil a 500-jar a year quota, but won’t plague the patrons of this exclusive store.
Each hive currently contains 4000 Carnolian bees from the Italian Alps. In this first season on the roof – they will produce 200-300 jars of Fortnum’s London honey. Each of the 4 hives is an individual design painted in Fortnum’s famous eau de nile paint fronted by a triumphal arch styled in Roman, Gothick, Chinese or Muhal.
Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Europe. More excellent photos here.
The honey goes on sale about now at around £10 a jar!