With World Bee day coming up on the 20th May, we thought this would be the ideal time to encourage everyone to work with us to do our bit to save our little furry friends, the honey bees, from possible extinction.
Sadly, honey bees are in decline and this is far more serious than a potential lack of honey for us to have on our toast! Bees and other pollinating insects play an essential role in ecosystems.
Honey bees pollinate one third of the food we eat! A world without pollinators would be devastating for food production.
Honey is not only delicious, but it’s pretty amazing being one of the most energy-dense foods in nature! It also lasts forever with the worlds oldest sample discovered in Egypt that is said to be 3,000 years old.
The health benefits of honey are vast with some varieties having antibacterial qualities with the ability to fight infections, as well as being a trusty cough soother and is even thought to combat allergies.
Raw honey is the one to have as it hasn’t been over processed by manufacturers, so local honey is always your best bet.
We can help the bees by making a few simple changes to our gardens:
Step 1 – Make your garden a safe haven. All you need to do is grow some bee friendly flowers such as lavender, buddleia, wild roses, marjoram and salvia. They also like poppies during the summer.
Step 2 – We all want a weed and pest free garden, but pesticides also kill bees, so try using natural alternatives if you can. It’s also worth reading up on companion planting, which is especially good if you grow vegetables, as the bees could help give you a bigger crop!
Step 3 – A lovely level lawn is a dream come true, but if you leave a little area to grow wild this will provide shelter for the bees, which could help them survive.We are lucky enough to have some fantastic bee keepers in Cornwall and it’s so important to support them.
You can find one local to you by visiting the British Bee Keepers Society website www.bbka.org uk
If you fancy buying some local honey, we’ve selected three of our favourite Cornish suppliers below:
Porteath Bee Centre – St Minver
The Porteath Bee Centre near Polzeath was founded when a lady called Heather started keeping bees in 1970, when a local bee keeper passed away. Heather decided to take them in and soon her & Eddie started making their own Cornish honey extracted and produced in their extracting room.
There’s a tearoom on site – Carters Cafe & Bar serving food all day and cream teas, with an outside garden area & stunning views of Lundy bay. There’s also a shop where they sell homemade honey ice cream, honey fudge, jams and marmalade, plus a fine range of beeswax, honey and cosmetics manufactured by Honeycomb Cosmetics and Honey Cosmetics.
Visit porteathbeecentre.co.uk for full details.
Ninemaidens Mead – Helston
Ninemaidens Mead is run by Carole & Mick and they are located in West Cornwall. They are a genuine Cornish Honey supplier with Carole being the current chair of the Cornwall Beekeepers Association and Mick being nominated as the Bee Farmers Association South West Regional Representative, which gives them a high level of industry knowledge.
Their Cornish Honey gives all Ninemaidens Meads their distinctive multi-floral character and is collected and bottled from their hives in Cornwall; from St Germoe to St Allen and is available as ‘runny’ or ‘set’ according to your preference.
Visit ninemaidensmead.co.uk for more information.
Tregothnan – Truro
Tregothnan is a living and working private Cornish estate dating back to 1334 with the largest historic, botanic garden in Cornwall. Eight miles from the coast with the deep sea creek of the Fal Estuary running through the estate creating the perfect habitat for wildlife and plants.
They specialise in tea plantations and delicious herbal infusions, so in turn their land allows their tenant farmers and growers – some of which have farmed the land for generations, to produce sweet and syrupy Cornish Manuka and wildflower honeys. The land is private, but their estate shop sells a delicious range of their produce.
Visit tregothnan.co.uk for more information
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