Exploring the Sweet World of Local Honey


Cheltenham, The Centre of the Cotswolds, The Heart of Gloucestershire. Known for horse racing and the famous swans of Pitville Park, move over Titan (or is it Zeus?) There’s a new honey in town. Literally, honey. Does Gloucestershire have a gateway to Heaven because those hives must tapping in up there to produce something this good! Do we thank Terry or the bees? I say both, the bees for making it and Terry for caring for the bees! Find out who Terry is later on but for now, let's talk about the bees.

Those industrious little creatures work tirelessly to create this golden elixir, which not only tantalises our taste buds but also offers a myriad of health benefits. Of course I went down a rabbit hole (bee hole?) into the fascinating world of bees and now you must join me too. I always seem to forget just how interesting and important bees are. Today we are going to learn about bees, honey production, and a review of Pure Cheltenham Honey.

The Buzz About Bees:

Bees, often hailed as nature's hardest workers, are indispensable to ecosystems, serving as crucial pollinators that facilitate the reproduction of flowering plants. Their pollination activities support biodiversity by sustaining diverse plant communities, which, in turn, provide habitat and food for other wildlife. Beyond their ecological role, bees contribute to the stability of ecosystems by promoting plant growth and seed production. They are integral to food webs, serving as a food source for various animals. Economically, bees provide valuable pollination services to agriculture and support industries such as beekeeping and honey production. Overall, bees play a vital role in ecosystem health and functioning, underscoring the importance of their conservation.

Honey Production Unveiled:

Yes we all know honey is essentially bee spit but the production of it really is miraculous. Bees collect nectar from flowering plants using their specialised tongues and store it in their extra stomach, known as the "crop." Once back at the hive, the bees pass the nectar among themselves, breaking it down with enzymes until it transforms into honey. This honey is then stored in honeycomb cells and sealed with beeswax for future consumption.

The flavour and aroma of honey vary depending on the types of flowers visited by the bees. This diversity gives rise to an array of honey varieties, each with its unique taste profile, colour, and medicinal properties. Well I suppose that means I will have to try more local honey and judge for myself!

Helping the bee population thrive in your garden:

Helping bees at home is crucial for supporting their population and maintaining ecosystem balance. Here are some ways individuals can contribute:

  1. Plant Bee-Friendly Gardens: Grow a variety of native flowers, herbs, and shrubs in your garden. Bees rely on pollen and nectar for food, so having a diverse range of plants ensures a steady food supply throughout the seasons.
  2. Avoid Pesticides: Minimize or eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides in your garden. These chemicals can be harmful to bees and other pollinators. Opt for natural alternatives or integrated pest management techniques instead.
  3. Provide Shelter: Create habitats for bees by installing bee hotels or nesting boxes in your garden. These structures offer shelter for solitary bees, which play a vital role in pollination.
  4. Leave Bare Ground: Leave patches of bare ground in your garden for ground-nesting bees. These bees need access to soil for nesting purposes.
  5. Educate Others: Spread awareness about the importance of bees and the threats they face. Encourage friends, family, and neighbors to take action to support bee populations.
  6. Reduce Lawn Area: Consider reducing the size of your lawn and replacing it with bee-friendly plants. Lawns offer little to no food or habitat for bees, so converting some lawn space into a bee-friendly garden can greatly benefit them.
  7. Conserve Water: Bees need water, especially during hot weather. Provide a shallow water source in your garden, such as a birdbath with stones or marbles for bees to land on safely.
  8. Participate in Citizen Science Projects: Join citizen science initiatives that monitor bee populations and contribute data to research efforts. These projects help scientists understand bee populations and identify trends over time.
  9. Support Habitat Conservation Efforts: Advocate for policies and initiatives that protect natural habitats, such as forests, meadows, and wildflower fields, which are crucial for bee survival.
  10. Support Local Beekeepers: Buy honey and other bee-related products from local beekeepers who use sustainable practices. Supporting local beekeepers helps maintain bee populations and supports local ecosystems.

By taking these steps, individuals can play a significant role in supporting bee populations and promoting biodiversity in their local environment. I’m starting with the nice, easy and tasty step of buying some local honey!

Reviewing Pure Cheltenham Honey:

Nestled in the heart of Cheltenham, Pure Cheltenham Honey stands out as a testament to local beekeeping expertise. Terry tends the hives which are located  in Hatherley, and most bees travel around 1 mile from the hive. I recently had the pleasure of sampling this artisanal honey, and I must say, it exceeded my expectations in every aspect.

Upon opening the jar, I was greeted by a delightful aroma reminiscent of fresh wildflowers. The honey itself has a beautiful golden glow, and with the first spoonful, I was transported to a world of sweetness and complexity. The flavour profile was nuanced, with floral undertones complemented by subtle hints of caramel. It was evident that this honey was crafted with care, the literal taste of Cheltenham! I literally know nothing about honey tasting but I do know this is the best honey I've ever tasted in my life!

What sets Pure Cheltenham Honey apart is its commitment to sustainability and ethical beekeeping practices. The health of the bees is Terry’s top priority and this dedication to environmental stewardship shines through in the exquisite taste and purity of his (and the bees') honey.

Find Pure Cheltenham Honey here: https://justhoney.uk/ or if you are not in Gloucestershire then visit your local farm shop or even garden centre to try some honey from your local area.

Just tasting this honey inspired me to create this cute fuzzy Honey Bee Limited Edition Print! Check it out! I'm sending number 1 to Terry - I hope he likes it!

A jar of local honey placed in front of a linoprint of a bee and honey jar



In conclusion, Pure Cheltenham Honey is a true testament to the craftsmanship and dedication of local beekeepers. Not only does it offer a sensory delight for the palate, but it also serves as a reminder of the invaluable role bees play in our ecosystem. So, the next time you reach for a jar of honey, consider supporting your local beekeepers and savouring the sweet taste of nature's bounty.

Whether drizzled over yogurt, spread on toast, or simply enjoyed by the spoonful, Pure Cheltenham Honey is sure to elevate your culinary experience while honouring the tireless efforts of our buzzing friends.

Let's raise our spoons to the bees and the golden goodness they bestow upon us!

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