With our relatively consistent, temperate weather conditions and long summer days, the British honey flow* is currently at its prime, offering the perfect environmental conditions for fruitful honey production.
With flowers in bloom for longer throughout the day, and weather conditions favourable for the flying bees hard at work, nectar sources are endlessly rinsed of their sweet pollen, with bees sourcing nectar and pollen for numerous weeks throughout the summer.
With the rest of the year spent on hive and colony maintenance, these summer months are where the bees work tirelessly to produce sufficient reserve stores to sustain the winter months. Lucky for us however, honey bees produce more than enough to share!
Honey has long been held in high regard for its medicinal benefits and antibacterial properties. It is local, raw honey that contains a blend of local pollen thought to provide the most immune stimulating properties that helps to combat pollen allergy symptoms. With bees flying up to a radius of 3 miles, it’s more than certain that most airborne pollens are also collected by your local colony.
Raw, cold extracted honey is the most nourishing and sustainable of honeys, having been delicately extracted from the hive. With its avoidance from being heated and stripped of its natural properties, like so many commercially produced varieties, raw honey is abundant in enzymes, antioxidants and antibacterial qualities perfect for fighting antibiotic-resistent infections. Whether you use it to cure a cold, aid a cough or stop the summertime sniffles, it seems this sticky nectar is something close to a miracle cure!
It has been suggested that eating local honey can aid pollen sufferers to build a much needed intolerance, taking the importance of ‘buying local’ to a whole new level! Thankfully for us, local farmers’ markets are on the rise, and it is places like this that you will easily source YOUR POSTCODE HONEY.
Even urban centres such as London and Liverpool are too making positive strides to encourage the busy bee to make use of green urban areas, creating great diversity in flavour and colour that changes from street to street; once again offering people with a natural hay fever remedy varying from borough to borough.
Sourcing your honey from local hives not only helps you to combat your hay fever hell but similarly support your local bee population and economy at the same time. Thinking about the flowers you plant in your available green space will also help you to encourage bees to produce hyperlocal honey that is reflective of your natural environment and in turn will boost your intolerance to pollen-based allergies. And with honey’s extensive shelf-life, this golden nectar can be enjoyed throughout the year and an intolerance built up in time for next year’s honey flow.
*honey flow indicates the time when a colony’s primary pollen source is in full bloom and the environmental conditions are perfect for sourcing nectar.
Words + Photo by Helen Upshall