The Honey Club was set up by charity Global Generation, brand agency Wolff Olins and social enterprise Urban Bees, with a mission to create a bee caring community in King's Cross – from rooftop to garden, hive to street, businesses to people.
As Wolff Olins has moved out of the area, so two of Global Generation's young volunteers are now project co-leaders of The Honey Club.
As a project co-leader one of my tasks will be to host local events around bees and honey during the year. Recently I had a wonderful opportunity to participate in a bee trail around King's Cross run by Alison Benjamin co-founder of Urban Bees. It is marketed as an Airbnb experience for people looking for something to do during their stay or visit to London. As part of the experience, I met people from countries including China and Switzerland and from England.
The three-hour tour starts with a walk to Camley Street Nature Park, where Urban Bees has an apiary ( a number of bee hives). Because it was too cold for the bees to open a hive, guests were shown a virtual hive that replicates the inside of a real fully functioning hive. Guests also learn about the life of a honeybee, how it communicates and its role in the hive.
Guests are then shown parts of the King's Cross development which have been planted with bee-friendly trees and flowers including Handyside Park. The tour ends at Global Generation's Skip Garden at the back of King's Cross where the guests get to taste lots of honey from many different parts of the capital. It's amazing how the taste and velocity varies according to the flowers and trees the bees have collected the nectar from to turn into honey.
They also learn more about the Honey Club and have the opportunity to buy some of the products we and the Honey Club bees have created, from Honey Club honey to wildflower seed packets and bags.
Finally, guests became hands on and creative, in an activity that is designed to give back to the community, wildlife/nature and most importantly bees by creating seed bombs. I led this session and showed them how to create seed bombs by mixing clay and bee-friendly flower into a ball. Once the clay hardens, the seed bomb can be thrown on the ground. They will break open and release the seeds that can germinate into flowers for bees. Some of the guests took the seed bombs home, others were happy to leave them at the Skip Garden where we can sell them in the cafe to help fund our work.
The project co-leaders have also led a mini bee tour with more than 20 young people 'generators' who just started this year's Global Generation youth development programme. We took them to the apiary at Camley Street and told them lots of facts and figures about honeybees that we have learned from doing the Bees for a Better World project last year and from taking part in 'meet the bee' classes at the hive on top of the classroom in the Skip Garden. And we shared our knowledge of the flowers that are good for bees and how to help solitary bees and bumblebees.
The bee tours runs fortnightly. I really enjoyed taking part and learned a lot and I hope to be able to participate frequently duringmy college holidays.