London urban beekeepers054.TIF
Joel Hemesley in a suit on the hives of the Royal Lancaster Hotel. Just a stone's throw from Hyde Park, the hotel's bees have been gathering honey from the flowers in the royal gardens. Joel joined the hotel's green team, which takes of the hives, the idea being to produce local honey to serve to guests but also to help the bees survive. "With the help of our mentor, Luke Dixon, fives hives were set up in the summer of 2009 and today we have ten. My work at the hotel is no picnic: I'm part of the managing team and I handle corporate sales to foreign companies and I travel a lot. My first encounter with bees occurred in school when I was twelve years old. At that time, in the context of the Duke of Edinburgh's program, we were supposed learn a trade and I chose apiculture. I hadn't reopened a hive until we put into place the hives at the hotel. Bees are really fascinating creatures. I love the way the life is organized around the colony. Each bee has a role to play in the population's survival and I love feeling that harmony.