London urban beekeepers008.TIF
Mikey Tomkins posing in front of a hive at the Royal Festival Hall. The apiary on the roof of the Royal Festival Hall was launched in 2008 by Mikey and Andrew Hinton with John Chapple from the London Beekeeping Association. Mikey Tomkins, beekeeper and researcher in urban planning, works for Capital Growth. Capital Growth is a partnership between London Food Link, the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and the Big Lottery's Local Food Fund. The campaign is part of a program that aims at creating 2012 new community vegetable gardens in London by the end of 2012. At the heart of the action is the promotion of bees in the center of London by providing locations for young beekeepers in the city and also training for 75 of them. The hives are set up in public spaces in the capital, schools, colleges, subsidized housing estates, allotment gardens, public gardens and companies. The city of London and Capital Bee ask Londoners to support their local beekeepers and the bees by planting melliferous plants and to stop using pesticides in their gardens. Solitary bees and honeybees also find nests in public gardens. Today, there are over 2500 hives in London. And 50 apiaries have been created. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also supports the creation of community gardens and over 1000 gardens and flowerbeds have been planted in anticipation of the 2012 Olympic Games.