With the arrival of Spring the plants are about their business and flowers are all around us. With the flowers now in bloom come all the pollinators and many of us will already have seen our first bumblebees and butterflies and honeybees throughout the year. A lot of pollinators collect the nectar from the flowers but it is only honeybees that will collect it and make honey that we can eat.
Each honey bee that makes honey in a bee hive will only make about a quarter of teaspoon during its life time. With over 10,000 bees in a hive you can start to see why so many are needed to make the honey.
Honey bees collect the liquid nectar from the flowers and take it to their hives. They will share the nectar with other bees as food and they will also store it. So they can store lots of nectar in the hive they need to concentrate it. Bees do this by removing the water from it so it becomes a thick sugary syrup we call honey.
The honey bees will collect nectar all year round while the seasons allow. This means that during the year the type of honey the bees will make can change. Different plant nectar's have different qualities and this is why you see different colours and consistencies of honey in the shops. Honey’s can be set, soft-set or runny and their flavours can vary considerably. You will also see cut-comb honey. This product is cut from the frames of the hive and contains both the new season wax and the fresh honey it contains.
The Storehouse stocks a variety of honeys from small-scale local producers. Apiarists tend to the bees all year around and can harvest honey from the hives several times in a year. They collect the honey directly from the hives, filter and jar it before bringing it to the Storehouse for you enjoy. The runny honeys will be filtered whereas the set, soft-set and comb honeys are left just as the bees intended, straight from the comb.
As we celebrate World Bee Day on the 20th May come and visit us and find out more about pollinators and bees and products of the hive!