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Who we are

Urban Bees

Urban Bees helps bees in towns and cities by promoting sustainable and responsible urban beekeeping and improving forage and habitat. We work with communities, charities and corporates, educating people about the importance of bees, training beekeepers, and providing ‘bee makeovers’; practical steps for how to transform our environments and thinking to help bees and pollinators – from planting trees and flowers that offer year-round food, to making and installing homes for wild bees.

Urban Bees was set up a few years ago by Brian McCallum and Alison Benjamin. They wanted to share their passion for their new hobby with other urban dwellers and to make cities more bee-friendly.

Their first training apiary was in Battersea, south London. With funding from the Co-op Plan Bee, they set up a community apiary in Tower Hamlets and have a teaching apiary in King’s Cross.

Brian McCallum

Brian runs Urban Bees. He is a qualified teacher and works part-time as a seasonal bee inspector for the government. He is also a member of the Bee Farmer’s Association and the co-author of three books on bees, Keeping Bees and Making Honey, and A World without Bees and Bees in theCity; an urban beekeepers’ handbook.

Brian provides tailored beekeeping training for a number of corporate clients and other organisations. He educates children, young people and adults about bees, writes blogs and tweets @Beesinthecity. He’s part of a team that's designed a bee trail app to count bees, and raise awareness about bees and forage in King’s Cross.

Alison Benjamin

Alison is co-founder of Urban Bees. She is a Guardian journalist and co-author of Keeping Bees and Making Honey, A world without Bees and Bees in the City; an urban beekeepers’ handbook.

In her spare time she assists Brian in a voluntary capacity by writing blogs, giving talks and developing partnerships to improve forage and habitat for bees and pollinators in towns and cities. She tweets @alisonurbanbees

Brian and Alison live in Hackney, east London.

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