Ealing Abbey Beekeeping


beekeeping at Ealing Abbey

Beekeeping – Apiculture at Ealing Abbey

Fr James brought bee keeping equipment with him when he came from Nashdom Abbey in 1985, and he kept bees during his noviciate 1986-1987. In 2010 he started beekeeping with Br Matthew but in 2013 the rather bad tempered colony in the ‘spinney’ swarmed on 5 July and we lost the swarm which settled 10 metres up in a sycamore and then flew off towards Ealing ‘Boulevard’ (Broadway). The small colony left behind died in the Winter of 2013-14.

Abbot Cuthbert Brogan generously donated a small colony and Jochen Encke and James Leachman OSB collected it on 25 may 2016, St Bede’s day.  We prepared a new hive site in the garden of 74 Castlebar Road, facing into the monastery garden.

With Jochen’s skill and care there are now four strong colonies at the Abbey.

In 2017 there was wet weather in June when the lime blossom was abundant but this has been rectified by the good weather for collecting ivy nectar in October.

We have fitted mouse guards, fed the colony that needed it and given anti varroa treatment. All is now set for the winter, whatever it may be. Cold and dry is much preferable to mild and wet for bees.

Along with bee husbandry we may be able to expand into how to live well in suburbia (the ecology of our surroundings, plus the ability to grow what we can in the space that we have) which might make a vital difference and enable harmonious communication amongst all the elements of our society.


(Do you wonder if there might be a place for bringing the environment into our Benedictine way of life – pondering the symbiotic relationship with the bees enables a basic appreciation)

Environment – Green Borough of Ealing link – no page yet
Ealing Abbey, The Environment is our Concern: link
British Beekeepers Association: link
Bees for Development: link

© Ealing Abbey, copyright 24 October 2017