March 13, 2016 0 Comments

Consider for a moment the humble bee. What comes to mind? A creature that stings but not quite as scary as a wasp or something that makes honey?

I read recently that according to British Beekeepers Association that one in three mouthfuls of the food we eat is dependent on pollination at a time when a crisis is threatening the world's honey bees.

raw wiltshire honey from colham organic farmThat got me thinking about the raw honey that we had recently brought into the Elements for Life range. Anyone that knows us, would know that we always source products that are ethically created. Where the supplier not only is mindful about producing good quality products, but are also mindul of how what they do, impacts Mother Earth.

When it came to sourcing our raw honey we wanted to make sure that it tasted fabulous, provided health benefits, that our suppliers were committed to organic farming methods and shared our values. Organic farmers don’t use pesticides which destroy wildlife. They work in a more complex way, with more crop rotations, providing a greater diversity of plants for bees to forage on.

Colham Organic Farm where we get our honey from is part of Bybrook Trust, founded by Paul Lysley, a local organic farmer, in July 1999. He set up the trust to conserve and manage wildlife in the Castle Combe valley.

Aims of the Bybrook Trust

  • To conserve and protect for the benefit of the public, the natural environment and species of both plants and animals of the Bybrook Valley, Castle Combe, Wiltshire.
  • To advance the education of the public in the principles and practices of conservation, farming and horticulture
  • To carry out research into conservation, organic farming and horticulture and to benefit the public with the useful results of such research.

So what of the bees?

Honeybees need a good environment and culture to thrive in. On the organically managed estate Paul has nurtured a nutrient rich environment for bees with an abundant diversity of limestone downland wild flowers and has located them away from the many footpaths that the visitors use. His bees get to live in great surroundings, with as much peace and harmony as possible.

There are 80 hives which provide a home to the Apis Mellifera species. Apis Mellifera to the uninitated simple means honeybee. Apis is bee and Mellifera is honey bearing. It, like the dog has been sort of ‘domesticated’ and bee keepers like Tom and Jarek at Colham Farm, are doing a fantastic job of keeping our busy bees together in colonys, feeding them gorgeous flora and fauna, encouraging them to get out and pollinate and as a by product making us yummy honey.

Quote from Paul ‘We are doing as much as we can to counteract the destruction of one of natures hardest workers and one of our most needed friends. Although it has taken us many years to get to this stage, we are immensley proud of what we have achieved and our contributed to ‘saving’ the bee.’ 

And what of the honey?

Just like us, bees need to eat a good health balanced diet to be able to provide nutrient rich honey. Honey bees consume pollen and nectar from a variety of flowers

Pollen is a rich natural foods, containing all of the nutritional requirements that a honey bee needs. Nectar is a sweet fluid found in flowers. Pollen gives them their oomph and nectar is converted to honey. The honey is fed to the larvae (babies), most of whom go on to become female worker bees, some to become male drones and the occasional one who will be fed Royal Jelly and go onto become a Queen Bee. Royal Jelly comes from young female worker bees and contains a whole variety nutrients which ensure that the Queens can keep laying healthy babies.

This amazing cycle means that honey produced in this way naturally provides us with a honey that is equally rich in fortify nutrients.

Raw honey is honey at it’s purest and unlike some honey’s that you may find in your local supermarket, it has not been extensively processed, thus retaining all of the beneficial enzymes, nutrients and antioxidants that these sweet babies are manufacturing for us.

Honey is packed with many essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and C and  minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, sulphur, zinc and phosphate.

Why is raw honey so great?

Honey has long been known as a nutrient rich food with the following benefits:

  • Evergy boost by providing good natural carbohydrates and B vitamins
  • Full of antioxidents
  • Antibacterial and Anti-fungal which boost the immune system and help fight dis-ease and infections
  • Slows aging by slowing down the depletion of enzymes
  • Great for sore throats
  • Helps bleeding gums and other sores to heal
  • Good for indigestion and nausea
  • Honey encourages Bifidobacteria (in the gastrointestinal tract) which is essential for efficient digestion
  • Can help with sleep (honey in warmed oat milk)
  • Makes tasty and nutritious raw honey chocolates

Our fabulous Colham Organic Farm raw honey has a strong, rich flavour, very flowery with a roundness to it. The easiest way is to try some yourself. Make a beeline for your raw honey here.

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