Duchess of Cambridge reveals she's a beekeeper by bringing schoolchildren pot of her own honey

The Duchess of Cambridge during her visit to the Natural History Museum Credit: PA

The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed she has become a beekeeper as she offered schoolchildren a taste of honey from hives at her Norfolk home.

Kate was visiting the wildlife garden at the Natural History Museum to learn about its new Urban Nature Project.

The duchess asked youngsters from St Mary of the Angels Primary School in London if they knew where bees got their nectar from, before producing a pot of honey made by her own bees at Anmer Hall.

"Would you like to try some?" she asked. "I’ve got one spoon each. This came specially from my beehive.

"See if it tastes the same as at home. Does it taste like honey from the shops? Does it taste like flowers?"

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The duchess asked the children if they knew how many species of bees there were in this country, telling them: "It’s 350, isn’t that amazing?"

She told them: "Every time you see a bee, say ‘thank you so much’ because they make delicious honey."

The duchess took the honey as a gift for the children to highlight the museum’s project about biodiversity.

She is thought to have chipped in with her family to buy her brother, James Middleton, 1,000 Buckfast bees as a birthday present when he turned 24.

The Duchess of Cambridge Credit: Geoff Pugh/Daily Telegraph/PA

Kate follows in the footsteps of the Duchess of Cornwall - who is a keen beekeeper and has nine hives at her home Raymill in Wiltshire.

Her honey is now sold each year for charity by Fortnum & Mason.

Prince Charles also keeps bees and hives at Highgrove in Gloucestershire, and at Birkhall on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire.

In an ITV documentary with Sir David Attenborough last year, the Duke of Cambridge talked about how his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis loved watching bees making honey, but it was not known the Cambridges had their own hives.

The Duchess of Cornwall is also a keen beekeeper Credit: Geoff Pugh/Daily Telegraph/PA

William said: "Seeing my children, seeing the passion in their eyes and the love for being outdoors. They find a bug or they love watching how bees are forming the honey."

The duchess joined youngsters taking part in a spider-making activity using pine cones and pipe cleaners.

She also helped fix an acoustic monitoring device to a cherry tree, which will record ambient sound to help scientists investigate patterns of bird, mammal and insect activity within the garden.

The Duchess of Cambridge was welcomed by museum director Dr Doug Gurr Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

The Urban Nature Project, which will be launched later this year, aims to work with partner museums and wildlife organisations to help people to reconnect with the natural world and find practical solutions to protect the planet’s future.

Kate heard about the museum’s plans to turn its gardens into a cutting-edge research centre, including outdoor classrooms and a living lab to deliver science and learning programmes for young people, schools and families.

Kate is patron of the museum, which is close to her London base – Kensington Palace.