It’s tempting, isn’t it, as a keeper of bees, to take a brief look at this comparison between hours of sunshine per year in the UK and California. Executive summary: there are more than twice as many sunlit hours every year on Ventura Highway than on Bermondsey Street. Hard not to star humming: “I wish they all could be California girls”. Imagine – beekeeping in Ray-Bans on roller-skates amongst the almond groves. Stylish!
And why not ? My Bermondsey Street Bees always seen happiest with a dose of SE1 sunshine on their hard-body backs. We could just scarper to Santa Monica, switch the sun on when we got up in the morning and switch it off again every evening. Perhaps it was my recent Bermondsey Bee On The Beach snapshot which set the beach-volley-ball rolling….
Hang on, though. Born, bred and beekeepered in London, my bees and I share a common heritage. We Londoners can take any amount of scudding grey cloud, umbrella-eviscerating wind and, of course, the old slang-rhyming “Duke of Spain”. Add in the distinct variations in the seasons of our urban estuary – bleak winters, grudging-green springs, mercurial summers and untrustworthy autumns – and we have a pretty challenging beekeeping environment all year round.
Second thoughts, I’ll take a rain-check on those turn-left-on-the-airplane tickets to LAX. Let’s keep it edgy on our windy London rooftop. It’ll take more than wringing wet skies and the odd clap of thunder to shift the Bermondey Street Bees off their manor, sunshine!