Meet the Modern Farmer: Camilla Goddard
Photograph by Emli Bendixen
Capital Bee London, England
Hopping from rooftop to rooftop. Staging dramatic rescues. Wearing a goofy costume. It’s all in a day’s work for eco-superhero Camilla Goddard, London’s busiest beekeeper. She maintains an astonishing 80 hives atop schools, hotels, and office buildings around the city—some hers, the rest for clients—and is often called in to capture and re-home rogue swarms.
While Goddard, 44, has a waiting list for her honey, she says the product isn’t the point: “People often feel rather hopeless when it comes to the environment, and one way for them to make a difference is by keeping pollinators in their area alive.”
So the apiarist leads classes for schools, wildlife centers, and even courting couples. “I’ve had guys call and say, ‘I really want to impress this lady.’ Maybe it’s a thrill date to do something a bit scary. . . like go-karting?” she muses. Or perhaps it’s simply a way to connect with the natural world. “Tending bees is like meditation,” Goddard says. “You have to slow down. I notice differences among my many colonies. They’ve become my work colleagues. And when all’s well and the nectar’s owing, they do a joy dance.”