We’re very lucky to live in the Lincolnshire Wolds and are surrounded by rolling hills and an abundance of nature. We have dogs, chickens and grow lots of flowers, vegetables and herbs. It seemed only natural the next step into my countryside journey was to become a beekeeper.
Nick, my partner who is the more hands-on beekeeper grew up in the countryside and became an apprentice gamekeeper at the age of 14. Although he is no longer a gamekeeper, he is still very much the epitome of the countryside. When I first met him, I called him my countryside guru as he knows much of the flora and fauna of the Lincolnshire Wolds and has spent much of his life learning and walking in the British countryside.
Although relatively new to beekeeping, we have been guided by an expert who has well over 20 years’ experience keeping bees. Our bees are kept close by surrounded by hedgerows and farmers fields, which gives them an abundance of gorgeous flowers to collect their nectar from and turn it into fragrant, natural honey.
As an aromatherapist I will also be using the beeswax to create more aromatic and plant powered products to help heal and bring a little bit of happiness, thanks to our beautiful bees.
This year we had our first small batch of spring honey, and our bees made the most beautiful floral tasting honey. After many mornings of honey on toast I decided to make a tasty honey cake and I’d like to share my recipe with you.
You will need:
140 g or 5 oz of butter
110 g or 4 oz of soft brown sugar
6 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of milk
2 large eggs
200g of self-raising flour
1. Heat the honey, butter, sugar and milk in a saucepan until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool.
3. Gradually beat in the eggs.
4. Sieve and add the flour and mix until smooth.
5. Grease and line an 18 centimetre or 7-inch cake tin.
6. Bake for 45 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) or until it is risen. Insert a toothpick of knife into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean, it is ready.
7. Enjoy with a cup of tea or a cup of your favourite coffee.
As much as we adore the honey our bees produce, we love our bees and are ethical beekeepers who always leave enough honey for them to enjoy.
As we start to think about the “bee season” coming to and end in August and as they can begin to bed down for winter, we are already thinking ahead to next year. We want to expand our apiary, as we are both fascinated by these beautiful hard-working creatures. We plan on also offering any other bee and nature lovers the chance to adopt a hive! So, you too can get involved in helping to save our bees, without having to don your bee suit and safety gear! With updates on how your bees are doing, jars of honey and aromatherapy goodies made by your bees (and me).
Love Kirsty & Nick x