New been hive creates a buzz in Kilburn

Residents on the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate are excited about their latest edition

There is a real buzz around the latest edition to a Kilburn estate – a beehive.

Residents in the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate have won funding for a hive, 40 hours of training, and bee suits, and hope that by this time next year they will be producing their own Rowley way honey.

Sara Bell, a tenant on the estate for 24 years, is one of three residents being trained in beekeeping.

She said: “My partner and I have an allotment and are both keen gardeners, and keeping bees is something I have always wanted to do.

“I have never kept bees before but so far the training has been fascinating. The weeks are flying by because I look forward to my Wednesday classes so much.

“There is no reason why people on an estate can’t keep bees, in fact it should be encouraged. Hopefully, this project will encourage young people to become more involved in their environment and learn how to nurture it.”

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Ms Bell and fellow residents Ron Fletcher and Ben Mullan are being trained in bee keeping, and will teach their neighbours how to maintain the hive, which will be kept on the roof of the tenant’s hall.

The estate has recently launched its own food co-op which sells local produce every Saturday at the tenant’s hall, and Ms Bell says she hopes they will soon be able to add Rowley Way honey to their stock list.

She said: “Part of the point of this is about getting children learning to grow up with these insects and not to be afraid of them.

“There are hundreds of children on the estate so I am really hoping that they will all enjoy it.”

Urban been keeping has grown in popularity over the past few years, and Camden Council has plans to install a hive on the roof of its town hall.

Environmentalists are encouraging the newly popular pastime as a way of boosting bee numbers after Colony Collapse Disorder has wiped out large numbers of the insect.