Honeybees have been kept at the greenhouses for many years, and buzz happily around the beans, berries and herbs when they’re in flower, alongside a wide variety of other insects. They help to pollinate many of the outdoor crops, but will also venture across the park and into Herne Hill, Brixton and Dulwich to exploit the many gardens and trees in the area. Despite their reputation, honeybees are placid, vegetarian creatures that rarely bother visitors or volunteers.
The bees are now managed by members of the London Beekeepers Association, but volunteers and members of the public are welcome to get involved in a variety of ways – either by helping maintain and assemble the equipment, lending a hand with the honey harvest or by getting dressed up in a protective suit and inspecting the bees at first hand, depending on the time of year and the weather.
Honeybees, like all animals and plants, suffer from an ever-changing range of problems, so there’s always something to be learnt or done. If you’re curious about bees, you’re welcome to visit them on Sunday afternoons where there’s usually someone on hand with a spare bee-suit, third-party insurance and a certificate in bee husbandry.