Bee Beautiful: Alex Monroe, Bermondsey Bees & Honeybee Gin

Being based in Bermondsey never gets boring. One neighbours is the brilliant Alex Monroe, whose jewellery is universally loved. 

My first piece of Alex Monroe jewellery - a gold Bumblebee - was a gift from my Dad on my thirtieth birthday, so imagine how excited I was to welcome him to our studio for a very neighbourly cup of tea, to talk flowers, jewellery, creative design, bees and Bermondsey.

Hayford & Rhodes loves Bermondsey Bees honey

For the tenth anniversary of his Bumblebee design, Alex is celebrating all things bee. Obviously, Hayford & Rhodes are hugely supportive of bees: We love the Honeybee Gin from our partner, Warner Edwards, and we recently went to visit our local hive, Bermondsey Street Bees, where I learned so much about the importance of bees, honey and how to ‘bee responsible’.

Hayford & Rhodes flowers and foliage with Warner Edwards Honeybee Gin

What you can do now:

  • Plant seeds: Every bottle of Warner Edwards Honeybee Gin comes with a packet of wildflower seeds, and they’ve even done a YouTube short to you how. Londoners, and those without a garden, do not worry. A plant pot is fine!
  • Purchase bee-friendly: If you’re as taken as I am with the Bumblebee necklace, it comes with a Friends of the Earth ‘Bee Starter Kit’, which also includes seeds.
  • Switch from supermarket honey to a local honey: Bermondsey Street Bees honey is delicious and so good for you (it has antibacterial properties similar to antibiotics). You can find it on the breakfast table at the Shangri-La at The Shard (but there is a waiting list for mere mortals!). Their Salt & Honey hand scrub restores my tired florist’s hands and transforms them into something more presentable and smells so good, I keep reopening the jar to take a sniff.
  • Find your local beekeeper here at The British Beekeeper Association website and find out how you can buy local, responsibly and sustainably produced honey.
  • Teach your kids the wonder of bees and other insects. Change the ‘urgh, kill it now!’ mentality towards insects. If you’re a fan of Netflix’s Queer Eye (and if you’re not, I suggest you set aside a day for binge-watching), you’ll know the wonderful Jonathan Van Ness. His podcast, Getting Curious, which during this episode explores, quite literally, How Can We Be Less Rude To Bees? The language isn’t 100 per cent child-friendly, but the premise and delivery are both, as Jonathan would say, MAJOR.



A longer version of this blog appears on Riddle



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Author: Joanna Rhodes

Joanna Rhodes is the Managing Director of Hayford & Rhodes

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