Four delicious Scottish honeys in one pack for the connoisseur in your life! These are honeys collected by my bees around Tayside, North Fife and the Angus Hills from specially selected locations where these honeys may be expected. The pack includes a couple of unusual local honeys which you would struggle to find elsewhere.
Heather Honey is the classic Scottish honey, packed full of flavour and reminiscent of the lilac-coloured hills in August. Unique amongst the honeys from these isles, it forms a jelly when liquid and turns into a soft toffee set over time. Its orange-amber colour shines through when in the comb and its aroma is delightful. Read about the site for these bees and the special extraction required here.
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.
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 and it often sets to a sloppy soft set. Enjoy it while you can! The scarce supply always runs out quickly. Find out a little more here.
For the fourth honey in the pack, there have been two editions of the pack this winter. One with Phacelia honey, the other with an early summer blossom. In the height of summer you may have noticed strips of blue flowers around fields and in field corners, perhaps even whole fields of them. These days this is usually Phacelia, a forget-me-not relative which is good for pollinators of all kinds. I’m lucky to have bees on the farm of one such grower who tells me it is also good for soil structure and gives benefits to subsequent crops. The honey is a pale yellow and has a light, summery taste with a lemony after-taste. It tends to stay liquid for a long time unless the bees have also visited the radish which some other farmers in the area grow. Read more about this honey here.
The alternative honey is a delicious honey that came in during late June when the main flowers available to the bees would be wild raspberry, hawthorn and sycamore. Read more about this one here.
Gavin the beekeeper