The Duchess of Cambridge‘s younger brother James Middleton has spoken of his love of beekeeping and how he’s introduced the hobby to his future wife Alizee Thevenet. In an article for The Daily Mail, James wrote about the benefits of one of his favourite past times and the positive effect it has had on his mental health.

READ: Inside James Middleton’s beautiful London home with fiancée Alizee Thevenet

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WATCH: James Middleton shares his passion for beekeeping in Instagram video

The 33-year-old wrote: “I’ve written in this paper about the clinical depression that first hit me in 2016, and one of my strategies for coping with it is beekeeping. I see it as an active form of meditation, a chance to escape from mental tumult. When I’m with my bees it’s as if someone’s pressed the mute button on everything that’s worrying me.”

In new photos with his French fiancée, James and Alizee both wear beekeeping suits as they pose for a picture at the Middletons’ family home, Bucklebury Manor in Berkshire, where the entrepreneur keeps his eight hives.

James adds: “I’m glad, too, that my fiancée, Alizee, is a convert. Early in our relationship I bought her a beekeeping suit and when she’s helping me with the hives, as she has been during the weeks of lockdown we’ve spent at Bucklebury, she couldn’t be happier.”

The couple have had to postpone their forthcoming nuptials amid the coronavirus pandemic and have been isolating with James’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton.

MORE: 12 photos that show Michael Middleton’s incredibly close bond to Kate, Pippa and James

James’s parents and sisters bought him his first colony of bees

James revealed in the article that his interest in beekeeping stemmed from his childhood, when he read about Winnie-The-Pooh and his honey jar. His dream to keep bees came true when his parents and older sisters, Kate and Pippa, bought him a colony of 1,000 Buckfast bees for his 24th birthday. The entrepreneur adds that he hopes to inspire the younger generation to take up the hobby and plans to buy an observation hive to take into classrooms to show children how bees work.

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for James as he introduced a new puppy, Nala, to his family of pets. Kate’s brother has also launched a new happiness and wellbeing company for dogs, Ella & Co. Its first product is freeze-fried raw food for dogs, which has the benefits of a raw diet but without the hassle of defrosting. In the past James has spoken about the positive impact his pet pooches have had on his mental health.

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