Oxleas Wood Apiary
Oxleas Wood

Located in the woodlands is the Oxleas Wood Honeybee Apiary, totalling about 20 or so active hives depending on the month of the season.

The 180 acres of woods and the nearby Woodlands Farm with its 90 acres of farm fields, including wild flower meadows, hedgerows and orchards, together with the general Shooters Hill locality 'green' environment, all make up a rich diversity of nectar and pollen for Oxleas's foraging bees. The Oxleas Wood Apiary is self-sustaining, yielding seasonal crops of honey and other hive natural products and it breeds and raises its own strains of replacement Queen bees in smaller nucleus hives that can be seen dotted around the Apiary.

Honey Tasting For its bee management programme the Apiary does not use chemicals or antibiotics, instead deploying a chemical-free bio-technical approach as far as possible - for prophylactic treatment of Varroa destructor approved treatments are applied with no effect on the bees and honey. Each year there are a number of honeybee related activities along with Apiary Taster Days set aside and open to the public for 'hands-on' experience and, comprising evening sessions over 8 weeks, Oxleas Wood Apiary offers a comprehensive Introduction to Beekeeping course.

The Apiary sits within 77 hectares of ancient woodlands Oxleas Wood to the north of Eltham, along with neighbouring Jack Wood and Castle Wood, is a surviving fragment of London's old countryside being a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) collectively known as Shooters Hill Woodlands. The area includes ancient woodland some of which is at least 8,000 years old, dating from the Ice Age.