Groundhouse owner Heidi lifts the lid on the
secrets of her delicious home-produced honey
As a third generation beekeeper, my love and respect for these clever little creatures has meant that keeping bees is a big part of my life.
Each year in June and August the local honey that our bees produce can be bought at Groundhouse Sheppey. The bees are always busy!
£4.30 for 227g £6.60 for 340g
Eating local honey is said to have many health benefits, particularly
associated with allergies. Personally, I think of it as a tasty treat and often a sugar alternative. Cooking with it gives an extra layer of flavour, whether in a stir-fry or some sweet biscuits.
Did you know?
The hive can not survive without its queen, whose soul purpose is to lay eggs in the brood chamber of the hives. She does this for around six years or until she is superseded by a younger, stronger queen. Sometimes she is forced to leave and some of the colony go with her. Other times, a new queen leaves with some of the gang to start a new colony elsewhere.
This is one of the reasons swarming happens – the bees are simply searching for a new home. Three of our colonies are from swarms that needed a new home – two from allotments and one a caravan park.
The male honey bees do not make honey or collect the pollen and nectar, their soul aim is to be waited on hand and foot and to mate with the queen. After mating, they die. In winter, when food and water can become scarce, the female bees quite often throw them out.
The female or worker bees come out only when the weather is warm enough, although before it becomes very warm a few may be sent out to bring back water and, when available, pollen.
Bees do not sting unless they are under attack. Stinging is the last thing they want to do as it kills them.
Bees do not just collect nectar for honey production, they make wax from scratch, and collect pollen for their stores and they also make royal jelly for their queen.
If you found this interesting, why not book a talk and tell about Heidi’s hive and find out how the bees inspired the Groundhouse Earthship to be built.