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Sally reports on the aftermath of the storm on Bee Heaven farm
Master beekeeper James Hamill has said he expects thousands of his honeybees will die after “at least 40” hives were turned upside down by bad weather.
The destructive wind and rain from Storm Eunice and Storm Franklin left many businesses and community venues flooded and damaged.
James, 60, from London is proudly carrying on the family beekeeping business which has been selling unique homemade health honey products since 1924.
“We’ve got about 80 beehives and at least 40 of them have been turned upside down, the roofs off,” he said.
“I found them exposed – (the) poor bees are sitting there getting rained on."
James's gut instinct was to help the bees even though he was not wearing any protective clothing.
"I got stung about 30, 40 times. They were everywhere. They were getting inside my suit. Normally that's not the case, but they were so disrupted," he said.
James set up the Hive Honey Shop in London in 1992 but was forced to take the business online during the Covid pandemic.
The master beekeeper said he keeps his bees around 10 miles out of central London during the winter. On Monday he tweeted a video showing the hives scattered on the floor.
James said: "We have so many things that are being thrown at honeybees at the moment, it’s becoming almost impossible to keep the species alive, so we are on a razor’s edge.
"That kind of ferocious thump on top of the beehive shocks them.’
"They basically have gone into shock. I just have to pray that they pull through."
James estimates that he's missing 25 colonies which equates to several hundred thousand bees.
The next few weeks will be critical for James, and will require him to repair the damaged infrastructure before taking care of the remaining weakened bees by giving them surplus honey.
Meanwhile, in an effort to help the bees that have been displaced by the stormy weather, the Hive Honey Shop is aiming to run an “adopt a beehive” project, getting the public involved in helping rehome unhoused colonies.
© Copyright ITV Consumer Limited 2022

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