Photograph © Francesco Guidicini
Steve Benbow is known as ‘The Urban Bee Keeper’. He is the founding director of the London Honey Company, a business that produces honey for Harrods, Harvey Nichols and The Savoy, as well as several small delicatessens across London. He also provides training in beekeeping and manages beehives for third-party clients across England.
As a successful entrepreneur with green credentials, Steve can help corporations to become more ethically focused. He is an excellent speaker on sustainability and the environment.
Fifteen years ago Steve decided he wanted to keep bees in Central London. There was only one a problem: he lived on the sixth story of an ex-council block near Tower Bridge with no garden. The only outside space was the building's flat roof, accessible via a fire escape. Having located his first hive behind the lift shaft, the bees prospered and produced award-winning honey.
Inspired by other urban beekeepers in Paris, Tokyo, Rio and New York, Steve set about expanding his own operation in London. And by tapping into the network of businesses scattered across the capital that had huge secure rooftops, his business began to thrive.
In 2005, he became Beemaster to Fortnum and Mason - managing four ornate hives on the roof of their store in Piccadilly - and he now services hives for The National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, as well as a variety of commercial clients, many of whom sell their honey within their stores.
When Steve started his business back in 1996, the notion of urban beekeeping was a curiosity. Today, with the well-documented crises in the bee population, Steve's mission to install beehives across the city has acquired a pertinence that is universally recognized. He is applauded as both a visionary and an entrepreneur.
Books by Steve Benbow.