Celebrity Beekeeping: A-list turned Bee-listers

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It turns out that Beyoncé isn’t the only Queen Bee in love with our miniature hero the honey bee. Queen Camilla’s Buckingham Palace gardens is said to be home to 5 buzzing beehives containing Italian honey bees who feast on the royal nectar nearby – and she also keeps bees in her own gardens in Wiltshire.

The Buckingham Palace bees produce over 200 jars of delicious honey that the Palace chefs use to make scrumptious deserts for Royal guests such as honey madeleines, chocolate truffle filling and honey and cream sponges.

But Queen Camilla and Beyoncé are not the only famous faces to have created pollinating palaces.

Rowse Honey, which helps protect honey bees through its Hives for Lives programme, has compiled this list of inspiring British ‘A-list turned Bee-listers’:

5 Surprising And Famous Celebrity Beekeepers

1. Queen Camilla

Queen Camilla says, “bees are vital to the natural world and an essential part of our fragile ecology”. She took up beekeeping in 2010 and was also the first appointed President of Bees for Development (BFD) in 2020 — an international charity committed to alleviating poverty through beekeeping and one of the Hives For Lives partners. Each year the funds raised from the sale of Queen Camilla’s honey crop from her own gardens in Wiltshire are donated to charity.

Queen Camilla is President of Bees for Development. Pic: Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Shutterstock

2. James Middleton

James may not technically be a royal but he’s as close as they come, and it’s all thanks to his sisters — Pippa Middleton and Catherine, Princess of Wales — that he now practices beekeeping as a hobby. After years of longing to keep bees, James’ wish became reality when his sisters gifted him 1,000 Buckfast bees for his birthday almost a decade ago.

3. David Beckham

Recently David Beckham has embraced beekeeping life at his Cotswolds home. His handy work has seen him build a hive in his garden and his whole family has joined in on the fun – in their protective bee suits of course! He’s even swapped beekeeping advice with King Charles!

David Beckham keeps bees at his Cotswolds home. Pic: Seokyong Lee/Penta Press/Shutterstock

4. Ed Sheeran

At his sprawling Suffolk estate, Ed is believed to have installed a beehive and is keen to make his own honey. The average age of a bee farmer in the UK is 65, so it’s bee-rilliant to see Ed creating a buzz around beekeeping for younger generations.

5. Jeremy Clarkson

Having been motivated by fellow celebrity beekeeper Morgan Freeman, Jeremy took up beekeeping because he believes bees are “the cornerstone of everything” and the “planet’s keystone species”. That’s why he’s now also the proud owner of 250,000 of them.

Jeremcy Clarkson was inspired to keep bees by a Hollywood A-lister. Pic: Peter Jolly/Shutterstock

Want to join the cause and help bees thrive?

These stars take bee care to the next level, but there’s no need for a fancy bee suit to play your part. Simply planting bee-friendly flowers like sunflowers, lavender or borage (a window box is perfect if you’re limited for space!) can help to feed the bees and protect them.

Letting an area of your garden grow wild and giving bees a small water source to drink from (some pebbles or marbles in a bowl of shallow water will allow bees to land and drink safely) are other valuable ways to offer help to these busy insects and join these well-known Bee-listers in supporting the British bee population.

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Mitya Underwood