Delicious Local Scottish Honey
We are very lucky to be able to offer our customers local Scottish honey which has been proudly harvested by Bruce Burns and made by his wonderful bees.
We stock a fabulous range of honey at our wholefoods shop including Bruce’s, which quite frankly, is super yummy. All of Bruce’s honey is raw, other than basic filtering for jars (to remove wax) and 100% untreated by heat. It is simply spun out of the comb using a hand extractor or cut into cut comb containers.
Bruce has been kind enough to give us an insight into his beekeeping passion.
A Beekeeping Blog by Bruce Burns.
I started beekeeping in 1973 as a youngster after visiting a neighbour that kept half a dozen hives in his back garden. I was fascinated watching these wonderful creatures arriving at the hives loaded with nectar and pollen and decided to fork out £10 for a hive full of bees. At one time I looked after 25 hives but now have a sensible number of 8 for a hobby which keeps me busy all year round.
The bees, located in woodland, will fly up to 3 miles to visit flowers and trees in the surrounding countryside and gardens in the villages of Redgorton, Luncarty and Pitcairngreen.
Different plants will flower at various times of the year and if the weather is poor for a prolonged spell then the bees will not venture out and collect the nectar when the source is available. The blossom honey collected in 2019 was exceptionally clear and I was curious to find out where the bees had been working so I sent a sample for pollen analysis.
Moving The Bees
At the peak of the summer, each hive might have up to 50,000 bees and at the beginning of August they are moved up to the heather moors near Blair Atholl to collect heather honey.
This entails closing the entrance of the hive either early morning, late evening or during a rainy day when the bees are not flying. The hives are then strapped onto a trailer for the 45 minute journey north and released at a secluded moorland site. In my early days of beekeeping, me and dad would move two hives inside a mini van!
The bees quickly reset their internal satnav and will work tirelessly collecting nectar for about 6 weeks if the weather permits. There have been some years when its been a wet summer and there is very little heather honey.
Heather honey has a distinctive strong taste, is very thick and viscous and is tricky to extract into jars which is why I just produce heather cut comb honey in traditional wooden sections and containers.
Mid September the bees are returned home and looked after until the following spring when the beekeeping year starts all over again.