Urban beekeeper Percy P. Honey has one key ingredient to making good honey –  happy bees!

Thornton Heath’s resident beekeeper Percy is bringing nature to life with his local honey and educational work in the community, writes  Charles Thefaut.

Percy started working with bees around south London in 2012, inspired by the idea of re-wilding our urban environment. It was no surprise then that he found a home with the bees.  His hives which provide raw local honey to the community are gaining a popular reputation for quality and taste.

Percy favours a hands off approach to his beekeeping, and says: ”Bees have been on the planet for millions of years, surviving off their own honey, so providing minimal intrusion is key.”

Instead Percy builds his own hives and harvests only half of the yield, leaving plenty for the bees.

Working with young people to promote the importance of our local habitat is a key part of Percy’s work. He has given educational workshops on beekeeping and forest skills at schools across south London, and aims to ‘initiate children into an understanding of their place in nature’.

Next spring Percy will be introducing bees on Streatham common, and hopes to involve the local community as much as possible in this project. Those interested can follow developments at www.p-honey.com.

Percy created his own hand-made artwork for his brand, and hopes to ‘inspire customers to experience the love of the bees’ with his stylish jars.

“Most important is the bees they come first,” said Percy. “Happy bees make honey with love.”

He added: “So, next time you see a bee around Thornton Heath, make sure to smile and say ‘hello!’”

For a jar of the sweet stuff,  you can catch P. Honey at Crystal Palace Market every other Saturday or visit his web site: www.p-honey.com