Dr Luke Dixon of UrbanBeekeeping.co.uk is LSE’s resident beekeeper. Here he gives an update on the recent LSE honey harvest.
There are honey bees atop the LSE. There are two hives on the roof of Connaught House on campus, and another two hives at Passfield Hall of Residence. Two weeks ago we harvested the honey from the hives, and Passfield produced a bumper crop.
The LSE bees have been busy this year – as have the beekeepers. Under my watchful eye, LSE’s enthusiastic volunteers from the LSE Beekeeping Society have nurtured the bees through a long, cold and miserable spring until summer finally flowered. The bees have foraged far and wide through the late summer and right through to the end of September. Pollen of every colour, denoting a variety of different flower species, is still being brought into the hives.
Each box (or ‘super’) on the hive is filled with frames on which the bees build their cells of wax comb and which they fill with honey, as seen below:
On Connaught House, the bulk of the honey produced is being left for the bees themselves so they can go into the winter with plenty of supplies. Just a frame or two will be taken away for tasting.
The hive at Passfield was bursting with honey, and a box and a half was taken in the harvest. The honey was removed in its frames at dusk and taken down to the Bee Collective in Victoria, a social enterprise dedicated to all things honey. There, the little wax caps with which the bees had sealed up the honey for winter were delicately removed, and the dripping frames of honey were carefully placed in a centrifuge that quickly extracted the golden fluid.
Once filtered, it was put into jars – 62 in total! It’s now ready to be tasted at the LSE Honey Harvest Festival. LSE students and staff are all welcome to come along and sample the delights of our very own LSE Honey! The LSE Honey Harvest Festival will be held on Wednesday 30th October, 1-3pm in the dining area of Passfield Hall.