Copper Bee Apiary

A garden apiary in Whittlesford, Cambridge, UK - honey bees and their beekeeper Hilary van der Hoff.

Copper Bee Apiaries

2014 Copper Bee Apiary established, CB4.

2017 Addition of an out apiary at the Farm for the summer.

2017 All colonies moved to the Orchard.

2018 Colonies moved to our current apiary.

The original Copper Bee Apiary site in CB4, 2014 - 2017

Copper Bee Apiary was founded in summer 2014 by me and a colony of local bees in my back garden in Cambridge city, UK.

The first beehive, the "Cedar Hive", was set up on the so-called gin terrace - the south facing flat roof of our utility room.

Gin terrace with sun shade  Hives (left to right): Disc Hive, Smith Hive, Cedar Hive

Gin terrace with sun shade

Hives (left to right): Disc Hive, Smith Hive, Cedar Hive

Over the next few years the rest of the garden filled up with beehives and the lawn became a wild flower meadow.

Gin terrace with sun shade  Left to right: Disc Hive, Smith Hive, Cedar Hive

The City Beehives


Established: 2014

Queens: Anne (2014-15); Chance (2015-16); Eve (2016-17); Jasmine (2017); Lois (2017-)



Established: 2016

Queens: Dawn (2016-17); Mab (2017-)

Watching the oxidation of the copper roof over time:

OK, when I started that gallery, I thought it was going to turn green faster.



Established: 2016

Queens: Felicity (2016-17); Katherine (2017); Nefertiti (2017-)



Established: 2016

Queens: Gretchen (2016); Honey (2016-17); Irene (2017)

Arial shot: a bee enters the Disc Hive

Arial shot: a bee enters the Disc Hive


Thermosolar hive

Established: 2017

Queens: Nefertiti (2017)



Established: 2015

Queens: Beatrice (2015-16); Eve (2016)

Photograph Album (CB4 city apiary 2014-2017)

See also A Cast Swarm in a Plum Tree, in which I collect a swarm from my long-suffering next door neighbours' garden.

The Farm

The Orchard

In 2017 we left the city, taking 3 colonies on the back of our trailer. The colonies were those of Queen Lois, Queen Mab, and Queen Nefertiti.

Writings, images and sound recordings are by the beekeeper unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Logo artwork © 2015-2019 Susan Harnicar Jackson. All rights reserved.