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Kate teamed up with the rest of the Middleton family to surprise Carole and Michael’s only son with “the most fantastic birthday gift”, James said. The entrepreneur opened up on his long-lasting love for bees and beekeeping.
James recalled his passion for bees was born after reading about A. A. Milne’s most famous character Winnie the Pooh and his love for honey.
However, he had to wait for a few years before becoming a beekeeper, thanks to the contribution of Kate and the rest of their family.
James wrote in the Daily Mail: “While I’ve been intrigued by the natural world for as long as I can remember — as a child I used to have an ant colony and worm farms — I suppose my fascination with bees dates back to reading about Winnie The Pooh and his honey jar.
“I’d always harboured a longing to keep bees, but it wasn’t until I turned 24 in 2011 that the wish became reality.
“Then, my family —mum, dad and my sisters Catherine and Pippa — clubbed together to buy what for me was the most fantastic birthday gift imaginable.
“A delivery van arrived with a large buzzing box with the cautionary label: ‘Live Bees’.
“Inside was the nucleus — the start — of my colony: 1,000 Buckfast bees.”
James added he was “delighted” to start his adventure as beekeeper.
He continued: “The driver was terrified of picking it up, so I had to collect it from the van.
“Before the bees’ arrival came a cedarwood hive, in kit form — all I had to do was glue and nail together the components — and the beekeepers’ uniform of white, hooded overalls, veil, gloves, and the essential tools of hook, scraper and smoker. I was delighted!”
To date, James counts almost half a million bees across the eight hives kept at his parents’ home in Berkshire.
James isn’t the only celebrity who has got decided to become a beekeeper.
In recent years, actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Morgan Freeman and Scarlett Johansson have started their own hives.
Similarly, David Beckham has been building a hive at his Cotswolds home during lockdown.
Kate hasn’t just played an important role in contributing to start James’s first hive and make his dream come true.
The supportive sister was by his side when he started his fight against depression.
In a Daily Mail comment published last year, James revealed he also felt compelled to come forward and speak about his depression after Kate, Prince William and Prince Harry started campaigning to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health.
He wrote: “I feel compelled to talk about it openly because this is precisely what my brother-in-law Prince William, my sister Catherine and Prince Harry are advocating through their mental health charity Heads Together.”
Writing about whether he thought his close relation to the Royal Family, which turned him into a public figure, was a factor in his depression, he added: “People have asked me, too, if my public profile has made it harder for me.
“Would I have become so depressed if I hadn’t been subject to the pressure of public scrutiny that comes with my association with the Royal Family?
“The answer is, I believe I would.
“But I wouldn’t have found a voice or an outlet for my story if it hadn’t been for the people I’m related to.”
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