With up to 50,000 bees per hive, it makes perfect sense for a couple of novice beekeepers to use crowd funding to buy their first hives.

Robert Arnaud and his wife Karine Fischer are trying to raise £2,300 by Friday, February 13, to buy two hives to put on land in Morden as well as all the necessary equipment.

Wimbledon Times:

Karine Fischer with locally produced honey and a bee smoker

The couple, who live in Merton Road, Wimbledon, are members of the Wimbledon Beekeepers’ Association based in Morden Hall Park and are hoping to keep the hives on land at Holne Chase in Morden if successful.

Wimbledon Times:

They are offering free locally produced honey in return for donations to the bee hives, a shed and the equipment needed to successfully look after up to 55,000 bees per hive in summer.

Mr Arnaud said if they could not raise the money now the project would have to be delayed for a year.

He said: "I have always been interested in the environment and I like honey.

"We wanted to meet people and do something new.

"We have been doing it for a year and a half and working on the association’s hives, now we want to do it on our own."

Wimbledon Times:

Delicious: Honeycomb

Wimbledon Beekeepers’ Association is a registered charity with 100 members who look after 30 bee hives in Morden Hall Park, containing up to 300,000 bees at this time of year.

Ms Fischer said: "Beekeeping is a really interesting activity which is good for the environment.

"We will give back honey to people who pledge money but most of it will be for our own consumption."

Ms Fischer estimates if the weather is good they could produce 40kg of honey a year.

Association chairman Gareth Morgan said: "I am always happy for new members to go out on their own.

"I am pleased they are raising money for an apiary.

"The first year of beekeeping is always easiest, it is the next years which are harder because the first year you have nice calm bees that don’t tend to swarm.

"In the second and third years they tend to swarm but it’s only natural behaviour."

To donate to the cause, visit the website on http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bees-need-you-the-buzzing-hive-project/

Find out more about beekeeping on the association website http://www.wimbledonbeekeepers.co.uk/