It’s a busy time of year for our bees right now so that means the pollen is coming out too.

From the beginning of spring everything is green and waking up from winter. What a joy to see the bees starting to work their magic on the work of pollinating all our plants for food. Did you know that one out of every three mouthfuls of our food depends on pollinators such as bees? Did you know that 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination? What an amazing world we live in.

Here on our family farm, Steve Toop our honey producer, (who also looks after a herd of milking cows for us) is so passionate about what he does with his bees, which began as his hobby after some health problems. What started as a small sideline has expanded into a very productive and successful business for Steve and he has won many awards for his honey. Incredible work and wonderful to see and celebrate with him.

“Bees are precious and it’s not as simple as putting a hive out and leaving it alone to fend for itself, it’s hard work. You need to have real dedication, to check the health status of your bees so they’re not passing on any diseases to other hives.” Steve also says his bees have no more than 4 miles to travel to collect the pollen and nectar. Honey is so good for your gut health, it has so many benefits including being a good source of antioxidants, having antibacterial and anti fungal properties; it also heals wounds and it’s being said it is good for heart health and helps lower blood sugars. In Ancient Greece it was described as the food of the gods; in China honey is used as a medicine. Honey in its’ raw form consists of amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Whilst nothing has been proven that it helps allergens, so many people swear by their local honey in helping their immune systems and staying healthy. Honey is made from local flora and the taste is delicious.

During the pollen season, go and find your local beekeepers and buy honey from them. Beekeepers work hard to nurture their bees and in return, they help keep our plants healthy so enjoy these little living pots of gold.

Steve recommends to anyone wanting to take up this hobby to look up a local beekeeper and ask to shadow them for a day, just to see what is involved in keeping bees. What a great job it could be for youngsters wanting to contribute to our future environment.

I know that on our own family farm, with Steve’s help, we have become a very bee-friendly farm. We are making sure that we are not using pesticides that are harmful to our bees, and also planting wild flower mixes and maintaining natural conservation areas which insects and bees love.