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BERMONDSEY STREET BEES

Raw English Honey & Lifestyle Products

found in the following categories:
Bermondsey Street Bees, Honey, Body & Bath, Home, London, England

DISCOVER BERMONDSEY STREET BEES

ABOUT BERMONDSEY STREET BEES

Bermondsey Street Bees is a sustainable beekeeping practice founded in 2007 by Dale Gibson and Sarah Wyndham Lewis. They offer a variety of award-winning artisanal raw honeys, each with immense depth of character with fabulous stories told through their flavours, just like a fine wines or olive oils. Their raw honey is a perfect whole food, containing many natural nutrients and is produced using only artisanal production methods, hand extraction and cold filtering, to preserve the flavours and nutrient value of the final product. Every honey varietal has its own unique terroir, and a distinct individuality and seasonality to be explored and celebrated.

The traditional beekeeping they practise always places the welfare of the bees first. They have their own apiaries both inside and outside London, and work with organisations who support their pioneering ‘Green Offset’ policy. Dale and Sarah have developed a very strong sustainability agenda and commitment to net biodiversity gain, especially in urban settings. The Green Offset policy helps with their advocacy and education work with businesses, government and charities to keep honeybees in cities without negatively impacting wild pollinators. You can read more about sustainable urban beekeeping and habitat management in our Provenance Story The Buzz Around Sustainability’ here.

Until recently Bermondsey Street Bees sold mostly to chefs and bartenders looking for exceptional honeys or those who wanted to support British beekeeping. However Dale and Sarah are passionate in their shared belief very that consumers should not only have access to more knowledge about raw honey, but also be able to taste the difference. For them, honey is mankind’s original high energy treat – it’s long-lived and very versatile – and deserves more respect. In fact, they feel that consumer perceptions of honey should be a little more like coffee. A customer might very well go and buy a cheap commodity, or some ground coffee blend, but many will go out of their way to look for the most responsibly sourced or purest or highest quality beans – and they recognise the difference. Bermondsey Street Bees is on a mission to teach us about the million facets and complexities of honeys through education, advocacy, and the delicious product itself.

MOST POPULAR BY BERMONDSEY STREET BEES

BERMONDSEY STREET BEES AWARDS

‘How do you know it’s real honey if you don’t know the beekeeper?’

Dale Gibson – Founder – Bermondsey Street Bees

PRODUCTION

Bermondsey Street Bees operates, in their own words, “bee-to-jar” with a transparent and holistic approach. Dale and Sarah are involved throughout, using artisan skilled and batch production processes that they’ve honed over the years, and they’re very proud of it. Bermondsey Street Bees breed gentle, productive honeybees to co-exist peacefully with people. They keep them healthy using traditional techniques and treatments derived from sustainable plants. Most importantly, they leave their bees sufficient winter stores and harvest only when a surplus is produced well beyond the overwintering needs of the colony.

They keep their bees in Western Red Cedarwood hives, where the bees deposit honey into the wax honeycombs they’ve built. When it is time to harvest any surplus honey, Dale gently pierces the wax cappings before placing the frames into a centrifugal extractor. This spins at high speed, freeing the honey to run down the interior of the stainless steel extractor drum. When the gate at the base of the drum is finally opened, the honey runs out into a coarse metal filter to catch any hive detritus, mainly large pieces of wax. At this stage, the honey is rested for a while, allowing air bubbles to rise, before it is passed through another coarse filter, with a 350-micron mesh. Depending on the viscosity of the honey, this can take between two and fifteen minutes. The honey is rested again, and a few days later, put through a 200-micron mesh filter; vitally, even this finer mesh allows all of the pollens naturally found in the honey to pass through intact. If the honey is still a little too waxy, it may be put through one last filtration, again at 200-microns.

Their raw honey is a whole food, meaning the pollen remains whole in the honey and volatiles aren’t released by heating or passing through metres of pipes. Once they have the near-final product, it is left to rest again at ambient temperature, before being turned into jars or chef’s buckets. Real, slow food! Bermondsey Street Bees operates a no-waste system so that all honey is used either as food or as the base for their own cosmetic products. Even the beeswax is recycled into wax sheet production. All packaging and stationery is from the UK and wherever possible it is sourced from businesses operating locally. Their glass honey jars are made from 100% recycled glass in the UK, printed in the UK, and all other packaging is either recycled/recyclable or both.

In addition to the honey they make from their own hives, they also work with carefully selected beekeepers who produce raw English honey for Bermondsey Street Bees. These partners are like an extended family and are paid fair prices for their honey, helping put money back into the grassroots of British beekeeping. These approved honey suppliers are rigorously vetted and must score highly on factors including sustainability, bee welfare, and honey quality.

FEATURED BY BERMONDSEY STREET BEES

BERMONDSEY STREET BEES – MORE THAN JUST FABULOUS HONEY

GIVING BACK

Bermondsey Street Bees believe in giving back, contributing time, data and resources to global bee research as well as raising money to train the next generation of beekeepers. They also run community planting projects and advise on public and private realm planting initiatives to feed both honeybees and wild pollinators. They regularly donate speaking fees and percentages of pop-up sales revenues to bee charities.

IN THE MEDIA

As well as appearing in print, on radio, on TV Bermondsey Street Bees offers specialist services to Film, TV & Advertising.

EDUCATION

Dale and Sarah are skilled and resourceful communicators, delivering upbeat and memorable educational experiences to audiences including food & drink professionals, corporates, community groups and researchers from all over the world. They also travel widely to exchange learning with beekeepers from very different cultures.

BERMONDSEY STREET BEES PEOPLE

A highly experienced and dedicated beekeeper, Dale Gibson heads up Bermondsey Street Bees’ apiaries and Apis, its consultancy arm which undertakes apicultural audits and develops best practice blueprints for clients. He writes and speaks widely on issues around sustainable beekeeping in urban and rural settings. His Co-Founder Sarah Wyndham Lewis is a professional writer and Honey Sommelier, trained in the sensory analysis of honey at the prestigious University of Bologna. She is a columnist for a leading beekeeping magazine, trains chefs and bartenders and runs raw honey tastings for food and drinks industry professionals.

Dale and Sarah moved into their Victorian warehouse on Bermondsey Street, London in 2005, finding that their pitched roof – a little like a Dutch canal house – was too narrow for soil for planting. With no garden but a passion for getting their hands dirty, they took up an allotment nearby. Dale was observing a bee there, feeding on damson plum blossom, and suddenly it all came together – they would start their own apiary at home, with hives on their roof.

Dale undertook his formal beekeeper training and then began to grow his expertise. Before long he was inundated with offers of apiary sites across London and the surrounding counties. Meanwhile, Sarah went in a slightly different direction to her partner. Originally from a family of farmers and wine producers, she grew up hearing the language of analysis and flavour – and recognising the surprising amount of similarities between fine wines and honeys, she focused on building collaborations with other artisan food and drinks producers, This, ultimately, led her to Italy, to train as a Honey Sommelier.

Very soon their passion and combined knowledge and expertise started winning them awards, including the Small Artisan Producer of the Year 2016 from the Great Taste Awards in the UK. From the moment their business was founded, they opposed the idea of just parking hives across the Capital and managing them for maximum honey income. Neither did they want to supply big retailers demanding quotas that could compromise quality. Instead, placing sustainability and excellence at the heart of Bermondsey Street Bees, they concentrated on supplying leading hotels, restaurants and bars, where knowledgeable chefs and bartenders want the very best in sustainably produced local ingredients.

Working so intimately with the natural world, they knew they had to give back too, and the driving ethos of the business is sustainable beekeeping through net biodiversity gain. Collaborating with a wide range of sustainability and biodiversity experts, as well as an international network of fellow beekeeping professionals, Dale and Sarah have become well placed to advocate and educate on sustainable beekeeping. They contribute time, data and resources to global bee research and raise money to train the next generation of beekeepers.

DALE GIBSON

FOUNDER

A highly experienced and dedicated beekeeper, Dale Gibson heads up Bermondsey Street Bees apiaries and Apis, their consultancy arm which undertakes apicultural audits and develops best practice blueprints and other policy collateral for clients. He writes and speaks widely on issues around sustainable beekeeping in urban and rural settings.

SARAH WYNDHAM LEWIS

CO-FOUNDER

His Co-Founder Sarah Wyndham Lewis is a professional writer and Honey Sommelier, trained in Italy with the prestigious ‘Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey’ at Bologna University. She speaks and writes extensively on honey and is a columnist for a leading beekeeping magazine as well as training chefs and bartenders and running raw honey tastings for food and drinks industry professionals.

BERMONDSEY STREET BEES – PROVENANCE

TitleAddress Description
103 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3XB, UK

BERMONDSEY STREET BEES – SUSTAINABILITY

THE BUZZ AROUND SUSTAINABILITY

Bermondsey Street Bees, and other small batch, artisanal producers in urban and rural settings across the UK and Europe, follow 'bee to jar' principles when it comes to gathering honey, advocating transparency and sustainable practice at every step of production.