Admiral Hardy’s Bees

A couple of people have been asking me about the little colony of beehives that nestle inside the railings surrounding Admiral Hardy’s tomb.

No – I have no idea whose bees they are – the hotel’s? I can’t imagine that, unless a particularly keen bellhop is a passionate part-time apiarist who’s persuaded them to serve up Greenwich Honey with guests’ breakfasts. My best guess is the Greenwich Foundation, though who the keeper is, I don’t know. Maybe the Greenwich Honey will turn up in the Discovery Centre giftshop at inflated prices.

At first I was a bit iffy about the hives  sharing space with the graves, but they’ve sort of grown on me and I rather like them now. I wonder if Devenport House will let a little wildness into that area now – perhaps a bit of longer grass, or some wildflowers?

I really like the idea of beehives in urban areas. They’re terribly trendy in London just now – every so often there’s a slow-news-day story about people in high-rise flats having a beehive on their roof or something (slow-news day at Phantom Towers? nah…) . We even have our own local beekeepers supply shop, which I keep meaning to visit. Does anyone know any more about these – or of any other Greenwich beehives in interesting places?

the attachments to this post:

bee hives low
bee hives low

beehives closeup low
beehives closeup low

7 Comments to “Admiral Hardy’s Bees”

  1. Steve says:

    I believe that they keep bees at Charlton Manor Primary School.

    I’ve got a nice jar of Shooters Hill honey – the location of the hives is a well kept secret. Then there’s Woodlands Farm of course.

  2. Deptford dame says:

    Deptford honey is produced by a beekeeper who lives by the creek, although it seems to be only rarely available.

  3. Sarah Crofts says:

    These are University of Greenwich bees!

    I have been trying to find the news item which came out when the bees arrived, but havn’t tracked it down yet. Here is a blog post from the University’s Sustainability team following our recent Green Week which features the bees:

    We also have a legal bee expert, Opi Outhwaite, at the University:

    Did you notice that the plans for the new Stockwell Street building include roof gardents with bee hives?

  4. altoraphsody says:

    The hives belong to the University of Greenwich, not the Greenwich Foundation, and are being run by Capital Bee. More information on the website:

  5. Nick Davison says:

    “There’s a buzz at the University of Greenwich thanks to some unusual recruits, two colonies of bees.
    The hives are based at the Avery Hill Campus, and next to the mausoleum at Devonport House, Greenwich. As well as producing honey, they form part of the university’s wider biodiversity plan.

    John Bailey, the university’s Sustainability Project Officer, says:
    “There are huge environmental benefits from bees. Studies show one in three mouthfuls of food eaten in this country relies on bees’ pollination. Bees are becoming even more dependent on humans too: most wild bee colonies in the UK have died out leaving humans to supply hives for the bees to survive.

    “The beehives will have a direct benefit for the university. Nearby, the transfer of pollen from plant to plant will help our mulberry trees to improve their harvest and produce more and better quality fruit. We should also have some honey to eat as well. Marvellous!”

  6. Hi Phant

    Why were you “iffy” about the bees initially? They are, after all, ensuring that life carries on, and hence I would have thought eminently suitable for locating among tombs. My main concern is that they might be quite hungry bees, given the lack of flowers in the vicinity.

  7. Iffy only that I worried the hives might look hideous, but as they are, they’re rather sweet. No – I love bees – I’d have some myself if I was allowed to. :-(