Four delicious Scottish honeys in one pack for the connoisseur in your life! These are honeys collected by my bees around Tayside and North Fife from specially selected locations where these honeys may be expected.
In spring the bees will head to oilseed rape if they can, but if they are more than a few kilometres away they will seek out spring flowering trees instead. In the Spring Woodland Honey much of the nectar will be from sycamore trees with contributions from bird cherry, willows and top fruit. This sample of honey is from a site near Newburgh in Fife and there the bees can also forage on apples and pears. Can you taste the fruit in this one? Read more about this honey here.
Elsewhere in May the bees will have found nirvana – large expanses of the yellow flowers of oilseed rape. Spring Soft Set Honey is dominated by oilseed Rape, is particularly sweet and has a lovely flowery flavour. Both its high glucose:fructose ratio and the presence of some pollen in the honey stimulate fast and hard setting. This honey is then placed in a warm room until it can be stirred and the resulting honey stays as a soft set. Read more here.
In a damp summer – in special spots where landowners have planted groves of lime trees – an amazing honey may come in to some hives if the stock is strong. This Lime Honey crop is easily prevented by dry weather, too much wind or not enough warmth in the two or three weeks that these trees flower. Indeed it is often a challenge to decide whether it is worth leaving hives in place or taking them to the hills for a bell heather crop in July. So, in perhaps one year in three, I’ll get a couple of supers of this delightful greenish yellow honey. The flavour is reminiscent of lime even though the tree quite unrelated to citrus. Enjoy it while you can! The scarce supply always runs out quickly. Find out a little more here.
The fourth honey in the pack may be from Phacelia or be an early summer honey from Lindores. Farmers are now planting Phacelia which has blue flowers in July. It is grown in strips around fields and field corners. They are great for pollinators and attract bees of many species. On one farm near Bridge of Earn the farmer planted a while field and here my bees brought in enough to extract and put into jars. Read more here. The alternative early summer honey is also from Lindores but the bees were working wild raspberries, hawthorn and perhaps sycamore.