Bees create a buzz at London Met

Two beehives have been installed at Holloway campus - and you can watch all the happenings live online.
Date: 8 June 2016

London Met is now home to 40,000 bees who live on top of the Rocket building at the Holloway campus.

The bees come as part of the University’s Green Sustainability programme. Previous successes include being named “best in England” for carbon reduction and installing 221 solar panels on the Science Centre roof.

The bees will produce around 40 jars of honey every year which will bear the London Met brand.

A webcam is being installed which will allow staff, students and members of the public to watch the bees live online.

The two hives were installed by Barnes and Webb, a London based beehive rental company who specialise in urban beekeeping which is becoming more popular due to the honeybee population declining. Each hive accommodates 20,000 bees, but this will increase up to 80,000 by the end of summer 2016.

The project has been funded by London Met’s Green team who won a staff award last year and reinvested the money into the University.

Rachel Ward, Sustainability Manager at London Met, said: “It's great that we've been able to use the award we received to do something everyone in the University can get involved in. We'll be running events so people can find out more about the bees and will also be gifting the honey we produce.”

There’s already been some drama in the hives, with one of the queens being retired early.

“One of the hives has recently changed their queen because she wasn’t performing up to standard,” explained Rachel. “Hopefully the new queen will settle in well and meet expectations!”

Students will also have the opportunity to watch the bees progress through a webcam which will be available both internally and externally. Staff and students also have the opportunity to visit the rooftop to watch the beekeeper every week.

You can follow their progress on Twitter at @GreenLondonMet