Rising numbers of people in cities are keeping bees, the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA) has revealed in its first nationwide survey.
The survey found that each hive produced on average 32lb of honey, worth around £130 to the beekeeper, but the value to the wider economy of pollination by honeybees was worth more than £600 per hive.
The BBKA said its members had increased the number of bee colonies by 50 per cent this year – up from 80,000 to 120,000 since March.
The rise is particularly noticeable in towns and cities, with 31 per cent of new beekeepers based in urban areas – compared to urban beekeepers overall making up 23 per cent of BBKA members. Speaking at the opening of the National Honey Show, BBKA president Martin Smith said: "Our members have produced more than three-and-a-half million jars of honey this summer – that's more than a third of all the nation's home-produced honey."