Hilton Bankside is delighted to announce a partnership with British jewellery designer Alex Monroe for the design of its newly installed beehives. The Bankside beehives are housed on the meadow garden located 4 floors up on Hilton Bankside’s large green roof terrace, aptly named ‘The Meadow’. Each of the four beehives have been designed and painted by Alex Monroe in their own individual style representing each of the four British seasons.
The rooftop meadow was originally built to help reintegrate greenery into the Bankside landscape. Alongside wild flowers and a variety of plants, the beehives have been installed as part of Hilton Bankside’s proactive contribution to London’s green infrastructure. Bees are vital in the city to pollinate gardens, allotments, parks and other public areas – and to provide local honey to Londoners which can help cure hay fever symptoms during the summer months. A significant contributor to the decline of honey bees in the past few years has been the loss of flower-rich habitat on which the bees are dependent on for food. The productive use of its open spaces is part of Hilton Bankside’s campaign to help maintain a sustainable London.
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As Hilton’s SE1 neighbour with a signature collection of jewellery inspired by bees, Alex Monroe is the ideal collaborator for this unique undertaking. The design of the hives has been inspired by wildlife with a whimsical nature, characteristic to Alex’s jewellery. Alex has said, “I’ve done well out of bees, so I feel like I owe them a great deal. Bee’s represent the femininity of our brand; they’re beautiful, soft and delicate, but they’re determined hard workers. If you get in their way they carry a powerful sting. There is something very British about a bee, with a nostalgia from days gone by, from a more natural way of life. Bees need to be appreciated, enjoyed and cared for. Without bees we’re nothing. I commend our new neighbours Hilton London Bankside on providing a local home for them on their rooftop meadow.”
The apiary was designed and installed by Dale Gibson, founder of Bermondsey Street Bees and expert on sustainable urban beekeeping. Dale, who has won many awards for his honey, specializes in designing apiaries for chefs, hotels and restaurants, as well as keeping bees at locations as varied as Lambeth Palace and Soho Farmhouse. He comments: “We’re delighted to be working with Hilton Bankside to create this sustainable rooftop apiary and support the local greening charity, BOST. Alex Monroe’s hive designs beautifully illustrate our passion for increasing London forage for bees and other pollinators.”
Once who works the bees have settled into their stylish new homes, the honey will be harvested and used by Executive Chef Paul Bates in the OXBO Bankside kitchen to launch a brand new menu in the hotel restaurant. There are also plans to introduce a Bee Keeper mentoring programme for employees within Hilton Bankside.
As part of the hotels drive to raise awareness about the importance in protecting the greater ecosystem, Hilton Bankside are to run a unique competition in aid of the charity Bankside Open Spaces. Entrants will be asked to donate £5 for their chance to win a night’s stay for two in the recently launched Hilton Bankside Penthouse suite and a signature Alex Monroe bee necklace. General Manager James Clarke comments: “This trust is dedicated to maintaining and promoting green spaces in the SE1 district, a matter close to our hearts at Hilton Bankside. Alongside this we are thrilled with the arrival of our new hives, to have partnered with Alex Monroe has meant they have received a design that is beautifully in line with the wildlife inspiration behind the hives. This project has also been inspired by our ongoing campaign to promote the Bankside area by working with our London neighbours. Now we get to look forward to sample the honey in our very own OXBO restaurant.”