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Welcome To Apis !

Picture a beehive, its cedar wood faded to grey, perched on a parapet four storeys above a street in old Bermondsey. Now zoom in to London’s Tower Bridge, zig South a bit, zag a fraction West, and you have arrived. Welcome to Apis !

This is a blog about honeybees. Mostly. That’s why it’s called “Apis”, the Latin for “Bee”. The rest is about beekeeping. Mostly.

So you are now on the landing-board. At the hive-entrance. Cross this border and you leave behind the bright, wide world which we know so well and you defect to an insect culture, humming in the darkness. Beyond this threshold and, well, it’s not just a leap of the imagination, like Alice In Wonderland’s rabbit-hole. It’s a reality: a gangplank into prehistory, into a dense, six-legged matriarchy, into a breathing, breeding super-organism. And all inside a wooden box.

Be calm, move slowly, be prepared to be surprised. And enter…


15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi Dale,

    Your neighbour Austin here from Whites Grounds Estate…

    This all looks fantastic Dale. Great work. Thank you.

    As you know, i’m sure, we are in the midst of some community gardening action on our estates currently (Whites Grounds and Tyers Estates). I am aware also that you are looking for places to plant lavender and such for your bees. It would be great if our estate gardens could provide another local foraging ground for your bees! Let me know how we can move on this. Also, how can i get on your list for a taste of our most local honey, on top of 103?

    By the way, my uncle is commercial bee keeper out in Alberta, Canada. He has lived with the bees out there for over 30 years!

    All the best, Austin Emery

    May 22, 2014
    • dale #

      Hi Austin,

      I have replied to you be e-mail, but just wanted to thank you and your local community gardeners here on Apis for your consistent, inclusive and inspired activities.

      I’m sure that people have said this before, Austin, given your community sculpture project, too, but here it comes again: You rock !

      May 22, 2014
  2. neilhershman #

    Dale an interesting view of your bee craft,


    June 6, 2013
  3. Louisa M #

    Excellent job! L

    April 23, 2013
  4. Richard #

    Looking good, Dale!

    A welcome alternative website about London Bee-keeping …… but haven’t you told Elaine that it’s impossible to keep bees above the second floor ?

    April 17, 2013
    • dale #

      Hi Richard,

      Lucky we’re not on a hill, as well, or else they’d have no chance !

      April 17, 2013
  5. Putting our name on the honey wait-list now . . . be warned you others-with-the-same-intent. Looking forward to reading about your bee exploits Dale. What a grand idea to share your passion with us. Thank you!

    April 17, 2013
  6. Penny R #

    Be great to compare tales of the bees from the big city with those of sunny Suffolk.

    April 16, 2013
  7. Nikki Vane #

    Dale! How wonderful, thank you! A welcome breath of fun and interaction in London urban beekeeping. Please let me know if/how I might contribute.
    Look forward to many more interesting articles on your Apis ‘blog’

    April 16, 2013
  8. Hello chaps (mostly chapesses at this time of year – ed), your old holiday camp in Donaldson Road is just coming back to life and hoping to see some of your relatives soon. We are delighted to see you reaching out for media fame and we can tell our friends we knew you all before you were famous and the buzz began. Good luck with the new career and hope you will be flying high all summer.

    April 16, 2013
  9. This is so welcome Dale.
    Good to have the joy of beekeeping celebrated in the city.
    And other good news I hear today is that TFL is going to rehouse Barnaby and the Kennington bees if and when the Northern Line extension is built

    April 16, 2013
  10. 'B' #

    Will look forward to keeping up with the latest news @ Apis.
    I can’t believe that it’s some 5 years since the first Bermondsey Bees arrived on the roof.
    Delighted that things are going so well and that it has given you so much pleasure too.
    And yes for those that might wonder if my name is really ‘B’ …. it is, but I am neither a Queen Bee, nor a Beekeeper.

    April 16, 2013
  11. David Ditchfield #

    Dale, well done for bringing a little piece of country life to the City. I look forward to purchasing this years production, and at your prices , i will be able to create a whole new menu , p.s i hope the ‘Open House’ weekend is being brought back this year, it was a terrific success,

    April 16, 2013
  12. Oh my all of us at Holly&Lil are excited that we can now learn more about our lovely flying “neighbours”. They are a wonderful part of our Bermondsey community. Concha especially will be besides herself.

    April 16, 2013
    • dale #

      Hi Elaine,

      Thanks for “breaking the ice” on the bee-blog with your kind comments. Nice to know that the dogs on the ground floor and the bees on the roof get on so well together. (not so sure about Freddie and Mouse in the middle 3 storeys of the building, though – but that’s cats for you !)

      April 16, 2013

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