Honey Bee Tea Morning at the RAC Pall Mall London

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In 1995 our head beekeeper for The Hive Honey Shop was awarded a QEST (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust) Scholarship for Beekeeping & Bee Disease by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and the Royal Warrant Holders Association of Great Britain. We were invited to Clarence House to meet Her Majesty and we took our family observation hive. It was the first time a hive containing 10,000 live bees was allowed inside Clarence House. ‘We were honoured to have an in depth conversation with Her Majesty speaking about the plight of bees, diseases facing honeybees and the different honeys we harvest’.

As a result Her Majesty began purchasing honeys from The Hive Honey Shop. We were told by her Ladies in Waiting, ‘Wherever we go, your honeys come with us’.

As a scholar, QEST introduced The Hive Honey Shop to the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London a private members club, suggesting our beekeeping lecture. It was decided that The Hive Honey Shop would hold a ‘Honey Bee Morning Tea’ on Tuesday 22nd September.

In preparation for the talk, James of The Hive Honey Shop was invited to tour the building with Jackie Dickinson, events manager for the RAC. Jackie has a vast knowledge about the history of the building and the RAC which was both fascinating and helpful in preparing for the lecture. It was decided that the Hamill observation hive, as displayed at Clarence House, would be brought on the day filled will live bees and a marked queen bee for all to view.

For those of you who have never seen the inside of the RAC building at 89 Pall Mall, near Buckingham Palace you are missing out. The interior of the building is simply beautiful. It is immaculately well maintained and the facilities at this private members club are amazing. It houses four vast dinning areas, extensive automobile library/computer room, snooker hall with seven tables, a pool/sauna, racketball courts, ladies only reception area, many private conference rooms all furnished in the most tasteful and elaborate manner.

The Bee lecture was accompanies by two side shows documenting the research travels James conducted with the assistance of QEST. The talk covered what goes on inside a bee hive, setting up hives and what is involved in looking after bees, equipment needed, bee diseases and the current worldwide decline of honeybees. James touched upon the CCD (colony collapse disorder) theories that a cocktail of insecticides/herbicide crop sprays, genetically modified plant pollen, Varroa and stress could be the reason.

In all, the talk was very well received and many of the guests showed an enthusiastic interest in learning to keep their own beehives. The Hive Honey Shop would like to thank everyone at QEST and the staff and members of the RAC Pall Mall for allowing us the opportunity to share our knowledge and endeavour to inspire others to become involved.