The Royal Family and bees

The Royal Family are keen beekeepers, and beehives are a regular feature across the Royal Residences.

Beekeepers at Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is home to four beehives, which live on the island in the middle of the lake, in the centre of the Garden while Clarence House is home to two beehives which live in the Garden. The bees that call Buckingham Palace and Clarence House home forage on a wealth of nectar plants that grow on the island and in the gardens.

Beehives at Clarence House

During the season, the bees produce enough honey for Buckingham Palace and Clarence House to be self-sufficient, with over 300 jars of honey produced last year for use in the Palace kitchens.

Royal bee facts

  • As Duchess of Cornwall, Her Majesty The Queen became President of Bees for Development in 2020, a charity that reduces poverty and improves biodiversity in over 50 countries around the world through training beekeepers, creating a network of resources, and protecting bee habitats.
The Queen tries Indian honey from Bees for Development
  • A keen beekeeper, The Queen produces her own honey at home in Wiltshire which is sold at Fortnum & Mason to raise money for charity. This year, funds raised by the honey will be donated to Mirabel, Nigeria’s first Sexual Assault Referral Centre. As The Duchess of Cornwall, Her Majesty became Patron in 2021.

  • His Majesty The King enjoys a spoonful of honey in his tea.

The King puts a spoonful of honey in his tea
  • Buckingham Palace honey is used by Palace chefs throughout the year for guests at events, Garden Parties and receptions. The honey is often served in honey madeleines, as a filling for chocolate truffles or in honey and cream sponge.

  • The late Queen Elizabeth II was very proud of the honey produced at Buckingham Palace and even gave a jar to Pope Francis as an official gift at their first meeting in 2014.

The Queen presents honey to the Pope
  • The two beehives at Clarence House are home to over 90,000 bees and produce around 40lbs of honey a year.
Buckingham Palace bees
  • In July 2021, Queen Elizabeth II met beekeepers at the Children's Wood Project in Glasgow, a community hub which provides outdoor learning activities for children. Her Majesty was gifted with a jar of homemade honey from the hives.

The Queen at the Children's Wood Project
  • At Balmoral and Highgrove, bee friendly flowers are planted in the garden to encourage wild bees and other pollinators.

A beehive at Highgrove
  • At Sandringham, there are a number of beehives, with each batch of honey having its own distinct flavour depending on where the beehives are situated at time of collection. The honey could have notes of the lime trees which line the roads at Sandringham, or heather and lavender.

  • The Princess of Wales keeps bees at Anmer Hall and brought a jar of the honey from the hives for schoolchildren to try on a visit to the Natural History Museum's new biodiversity hub in June 2021.

Related content

Press release 02 April 2024

Announcement of a new Governor-General of Australia

Read more
Press release 06 February 2024

A Statement from Buckingham Palace

Read more

Message from The King for the 2024 Royal Maundy Service

It is my special prayer today that Our Lord’s example of serving one another might continue to inspire us and to strengthen all our communities.

28 March 2024

The Queen's speech at a reception to mark the results of The Queen’s Reading Room study

We share a very special bond, ladies and gentlemen – our love of books. Thank you for helping to spread the word.

26 March 2024

Message from The King to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War

It is our duty to remember what was once called “the Forgotten War”.

19 March 2024
About

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

As announced in January 2020, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have stepped back as working members of The Royal Family. The couple married in St George's Chapel, Windsor on 19 May 2018 and have two children: Prince Archie of Sussex and Princess Lilibet of
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

A speech by Her Majesty The Queen at a reception to celebrate International Women’s Day and to mark the end of the WOW Girls Festival Bus tour

Let your lives be the stones that will shatter glass ceilings everywhere and inspire generations to come.

12 March 2024
News

Commonwealth Day 2024

11 March 2024
Commonwealth Day Service 2024

The King's Commonwealth Day Message 2024

The Commonwealth family is strongest when we are connected, through friendship.

11 March 2024

A speech by Her Majesty The Queen at the Grand Final of BBC's 500 Words, Buckingham Palace

Between you, you have created more than a million stories of thought-provoking adventure for future generations to study and enjoy. Thank you to everybody who has taken part...

28 February 2024

A message of condolence from The King to the President of Tanzania following the passing of former Tanzanian President, Ali Hassan Mwinyi

My thoughts and prayers are with former President Mwinyi’s family and the Tanzanian people at this time.

06 March 2024

A speech by The Duchess of Edinburgh, via video message, at the Restoration of the Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Survivors’ Rights Conference, Ukraine

We must stand shoulder to shoulder with all survivors to secure justice and holistic redress, and ensure that this crime isn’t an accepted part of conflict.

04 March 2024

The King's message marking two years of conflict in Ukraine

My heart goes out to all those affected, as I remember them in my thoughts and prayers.

24 February 2024