Bee keeping in the city

Join the Idler Academy for a bucolic weekend (16th and 17th May) in deepest Wiltshire learning how to keep bees. A packed and honey filled timetable includes talks from bee exert Philip Chandler, otherwise known as the Barefoot Beekeeper. Meet urban beekeeper Bill Anderson, who keeps bees on the roof of his Notting Hill flat. Historian Elizabeth Birchall, author of In Praise of Bees, will give a talk on the history of bees in mythology and literature. Poetry guru Rachel Kelly has chosen a selection of bee poems which will be discussed. Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson will talk on beekeeping in Roman times and bees in Virgil. A field trip is planned to the apiary at nearby Charlton Park, the Earl of Suffolk’s estate. Here you will meet colonies of English black bees, the country’s indigenous honey maker. Chef for the weekend is Leiths-trained Tara Guinness and at the end of the weekend you will take home a bee kit including a jar of honey and signed copies of The Barefoot Beekeper and In Praise of Bees. I have always loved a bumble but never have I felt quite so inclined towards bees. idler

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