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Beekeeper, 82, to relaunch vandalised hives after ‘amazing’ support


Beekeeper, 82, to relaunch vandalised hives after ‘amazing’ support


n 82-year-old beekeeper whose hives were vandalised last summer is ready to restart his hobby after an “amazing” response to a fundraising appeal.

Brian Mitchison found ten of his hives at Litten Nature Reserve in Greenford, Ealing, destroyed in August, resulting in the loss of 600,000 bees and all of their honey.

Since launching a GoFundMe page on 12 April, Mitchison has received over 170 donations, raising £3,500 to repair the hives.

“It’s amazing the people who have given me their good wishes and support but also their donations,” Mitchison said. “I’m surprised, I thought most people wouldn’t care too much.”

“Now that the donations are coming in I’ve actually ordered some bees but will do it in stages.”

Mitchison suffers from long Covid which has added to the difficulty of trying to organise repairs to the hives.

“I’ve managed to get Covid three times and have not fully recovered,” he said. “I get very tired so it’s been hard work.”

After discovering the damage to the hives, Mitchison decided not to go to the police as there were no surveillance cameras at the reserve.

“There didn’t seem to be any point [in informing the police],” he said. “I told the rangers at the nature reserve and the Ealing Beekeeping Association and they’ve all been helpful to me.”

“Nobody seems to be able to understand why someone would do such a stupid thing. They must have got stung, I think they were absolutely crazy.”

Mitchison, who made a career as a cameraman, started keeping bees ten years ago.

“Beekeeping is great for the environment,” he said. “I tend not to take too much of the honey because they’ve worked hard to get that.”

“It’s just different and there’s so many layers to it.”

“Now I can get some bees back into the nature reserve and get things going again properly.”

Mitchison is hoping to raise £5,000 to complete the repairs and fill them with new bees. You can donate here.

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