Just a few floors above the bustling streets of Southwark, set amongst an expanse of wildflower meadow, lies Hilton Bankside’s Beehives. The four beehives have been installed in collaboration with British jewellery designer, Alex Monroe, and local artisan producer Bermondsey Street Bees. On Tuesday 13th September, this hidden apiary became the focus of the wonderful Honey Harvesting event, which we were lucky enough to be part of.
Hosted by Hilton Bankside, we were immediately greeted with a sparkling cocktail on the terrace of The Distillery, before being whisked up to the roof to begin the most insightful evening about honey. Here, guests were invited to put on a Beekeeper’s suit and step out into the meadow with the founder of Bermondsey Street Bees, Dale Gibson, to have a more detailed look at the bees. Thankfully without any bee stings, the honeycomb frames were collected and taken down to the kitchen for the start of the honey harvesting.
Scraping the wax caps off the honeycomb, Dale placed the frames into an extractor before we were each invited to have a go at spinning and finally, there was honey! This then had to be filtered before it was ready to jar. At this stage, Dale enlightened us with the astounding fact that in a bee’s whole lifetime, only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey is produced, making the whole experience even more special.
Whilst the arduous process of spinning and filtering continued, we were taken to The Distillery to enjoy some delicious canapés and sample the raw honeycomb straight off the frame. The honey was AMAZING! The most rich and floral we’ve tasted and was truly no comparison to the normal supermarket honey we are all so used to.
To top the evening off, we were each given a goodie bag from the Hilton Bankside and OXBO Bankside – Executive Chef Paul Bates had produced two delightful honey creations as well as a little Kilner jar of the exclusive Bankside Bees’ honey.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and we would like to thank both the Hilton Bankside for hosting the event, and Dale, for giving the most fascinating guide to the honey harvesting process. We loved it and cannot wait to sample more of the gorgeous Bankside Bees’ honey in OXBO Bankside!