While being based at our apiary in Whyteleafe, we
have hives all over the East Surrey area and take our bees to mono-floral crops such as Rapeseed flower, Lavender and Heather
in Surrey. We produce several slightly different types of multi-floral honey, depending on the time of year it is collected
and the forage available in the area at that time of year.
Honey is made by honey bees (Apis melifera). Bees collect nectar froma wide range of flowers and trees. The bees
convert the nectar by enzyme processes into honey. The bees need the honey as their only source of carbohydrates, or energy
food. The honey is stored in wax combs which the bees make for themselves.
The bees store the honey for use as food during times when flowers aren't blooming. If lots of nectar producing
flowers blossom, the bees may store much more honey than they could ever eat by themselves. This excess honey may be harvested
Honey comes in many forms. Extracted honey is liquid honey that has been removed from the honeycombs by the
use of centrifuge equipment. These machines are called extractors. Comb honey is honey that is still in the original wax combs
made by the bees. This honey is less adaptable to cooking or mixing in tea, but is relished by connoisseurs who prefer its
natural flavours. Ready for you to eat, wax included, honey comb can also contain some pollen which is also delicious to eat.
Honey comes in lots of different colours and flavours. If you think about it, the scents of different flowers
are remarkably variable - a rose does not smell like a dandelion - and it follows that the nectar given off by the flower
will smell and taste different as well. Soil chemistry and the weather are also factors influencing how honey tastes and looks.
Honey may vary from white and clear to very dark. Colours between these extremes range through pleasing golden, red, and even
All natural honey granulates. That is, it will start to crystallise after it has been taken from the hive.
How quickly this process happens depends on the flowers that the nectar comes from. Some honey granulates very quickly, like
Rape flower honey, which goes solid in a few days, while others may take years. Granulated honey can be softened by heating
very gently for a short period. Honey has long been respected as a healthy substitute for white sugar. It has
a few extra nutrients and is a little easier on the digestive system. We won't try to make wild claims about the goodness
of honey, it isn't necessary! So, why do we love honey? It's a natural, sweet, good food that has an interesting history,
pleasant flavour, and may even do you a healthy favour!