James Hamill

James has been keeping bees since he was five years old and beekeeping has been in my family for the last three generations since 1924; James is now a fourth-generation beekeeper and the director and head beekeeper for the Hive Honey Shop in London.

He has travelled around the world widening his knowledge on all things bee’s. He was awarded his QEST scholarship to do this and study beekeeping and bee disease techniques. James was part of an extensive bee-breeding scheme in Kent, he then moved onto travel to Nepal and additionally collaborated with the ministry of agriculture bee units in Turkey and Egypt.

James explains that the uncertainty of nature is the hardest part about what he does. Nectar can only be produced under strict weather conditions, if there is too much rain, too much wind or it is too hot, too cold; this means plants will not produce nectar and bees will suffer. Because James spends so much time with among his beehives, he gets to know the bees of each colony very well and describes them as part of his family. So, if a colony dies for any reason James says he takes this loss personally and it really hurts.

James also forms part of John Smedley’s collective of British craftsmen in celebration of their 235th anniversary as the oldest manufacturing factory in the world. Together they will be showcasing their collective crafts via retail windows, consumer workshops, special product launches and exhibitions throughout 2019 and 2020.