In the country estates of Perthshire and North Fife locations can be found where oilseed rape is too far away for the bees to reach. For that reason and also sometimes drizzly spring weather wetting the open flowers of oilseed rape, the bees must forage from tree flowers, protected by umbrellas of leaves. Nestled in sheltered spots, the bees are free to bring in a delicious mix christened by a previous Stockbridge beekeeper and honey seller as ‘Premier Cru’. This medium to brown coloured honey has a unique, delicious flavour with nutty and fruity elements. The floral sources are dominated by sycamore but it also contain other spring tree flowers including bird cherry, orchard trees, willow and hawthorn.
Sycamore trees have designed their dangling flowers to be protected from the rain with an umbrella of leaves. In fact, light rain helps stimulate the trees to secrete nectar and the bees may be seen flying to them in numbers in these conditions.