Campus Beehives

bee on a yellow flower
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

At Greenwich, we are committed to sensitively managing our grounds, with our Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) 2020-2025 outlining how this occurs. To help engagement, education and conservation we have beehives across all three campuses. All of our beehives are managed by external licenced beekeepers.

Read below to find out more about our different apiaries.

Avery Hill – Apiary One – Eltham Bees

Apiary One is situated behind our pond of the Edible Garden, and is managed by Colin Edwards and Eltham Bees. Eltham Bees are a small family business running 80+colonies around Eltham down as far as Wilmington.

“I’ve always loved working with the bees having worked alongside a beefarmer in my teens!!” Colin Edwards

Sustainability is a big part of their ethos. Their hives are made in the UK from local red cedar. Over the years they moved away from foreign queens and now run all UK bred queens. Our breeders’ queens are UK mated using the Buckfast strain from the West Country & Scotland. They try to recycle and upcycle equipment when possible and recycle their our own beeswax for new wax foundation sheets adding to our sterilised wooden frames that have been in service before.

Eltham Bees produces 100’s of honey jars, find out where to buy them (though we do have some donated for competition prizes!) by checking out their website!

  • Eltham Bees Harvest

Avery Hill – Apiary Two – John & Christine Hird

Located in the green behind Southwood House, John and Christine Hird have been looking after this apiary since 2012. They have trained a number of staff and students to help over the years, and donate a few jars each year for prizes.

Producing about 80 jars a year, you will also find this honey for sale within the SU Village Shop!

  • The nuc - now with the swarm of bees inside along with the old queen
  • Moving the bees off the base of the hive into the 'nuc'
  • Honeybees
  • John & Christine looking for the Queen earlier this year

Greenwich – Apiary One – Paul Youthed

This apiary is located by Devonport Hotel, with Paul Youthed kindly taking on its upkeep in October 2020 (following previous keeper Camilla’s move to Scotland).

Paul has apiaries across London and is a National Park City Ranger working with community, business and local government to help make London a better place for bees and people. We cannot wait to try the first jars of honey produced from these hives! You can find out more about Paul on his website.

Greenwich – Apiary Two – Bee-Naturals

Paul Vagg, aka Bee-Naturals is our newest keeper, looking after the apiary that can be found in a truly unique location, roof garden 1 on our Stockwell Street Library. Paul has looked after this area since June 2021. He also boosts the recognition of being awarded the Best Beekeeper of the year, twice! You can find out more about Bee-Naturals including their products for sale from his website.

Medway – Apiary

Medway only has one apiary; known locally as ‘John the bee man’, John has been looking after this apiary for nearly 10 years.

The honey produced from these hives are sold internally through staff in the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), but you will find some as donated prizes from time to time. Around 20 people have been trained through these hives over the years, making it a valuable education tool.

  • Medway Honey
  • NRI Beekepers group inspecting their hives
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  1. Hi,

    I’m Jo, the Students Union Vice-President at Surrey university and I was wondering if you are free next week to talk about your apiary on campus. I want to implement beehives on our campus and would love some advice and knowledge on how you went about yours.

    Please could you let me know your availability, I look forward to meeting you

    Thank you
    Jo Yau

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