We spoke with London World about the beekeeping initiative in a recent interview.
Can you tell us a bit more about the history and motivation behind the rooftop beehives at The Yards?
The Yards has been dedicated to fostering sustainability and community engagement from its inception. Our aim is to create a bustling hub for food, entertainment and culture, but we also want to create a relaxing, peaceful environment in central London. Motivated by a desire to contribute positively to the ecosystem and promote biodiversity in the heart of the city, we introduced rooftop beehives to our urban landscape. The rooftop beehives symbolise The Yard’s dedication to fostering a harmonious relationship between urban living and the natural world.
What specific types of honeybees are being kept on the rooftop, and why were they chosen? Does this also affect the honey’s flavour?
The honey bees, scientifically known as “Apis mellifera,” are western honey bees. The primary determinant of the honey’s flavour is the variety of flowers growing within a specific radius of the honeybee’s hive, from which they gather nectar and pollen. Typically, honeybees will cover a distance of up to two miles in all directions from their hive for foraging, and the types of plants they visit during this process significantly influence the taste, colour, and texture of the resulting honey. This year we have had two colonies of bees on our rooftop with about 240,000 bees.