From the beautiful heart of the Yorkshire Wolds
History of YWH
My sister and I started keeping Bees in 2009, I had recently moved to a new house and left a garden with lots of honeybees to a garden with absolutely none. At that point, I decided to get my own honeybees.
After a bit of googled research, I came across The Beverley Beekeepers Association, which is a group of local beekeepers that promote best practice in beekeeping and share knowledge and ideas. I joined the group and attended a beginner’s course on keeping bees. This led me to acquiring my first flat packed beehive. This was assembled in an almost square way.
I purchased my first bees from a local Beverley Beekeeper and proudly popped them into their new home. My first year was a very steep learning curve but with help from more knowledgeable beekeepers, my bees managed to survive their first winter and I obtained a second hive in spring.
The Family Involvement
My sister then joined me and together we slowly increased the number of hives that we have.
We have now gained enough experience in our beekeeping to be able to produce our own queen bees, which means that we are able to select the most suitable queens for the conditions in East Yorkshire, we are now producing bees for other beekeepers in the area.
We have started helping the Beverley Beekeepers with the running of the annual honey show, this takes place in the horticulture marquee at the Driffield show in July, we also represent Beverley beekeepers when invited to attend local events.
From May until the end of August we also collect swarms from our area, Fridaythorpe to the coast.
We move our hives to various crops like oil seed rape which makes the lovely soft set honey and to fields of Borage. The oil from the seeds of the Borage flower (Star Flower) is used to make star flower oil and is very high in gamma-linolenic acid.
When we move our beehives onto the edge of the field of borage, oil seed rape or to the moors, the honey from these hives will be a mono floral honey and will have its own distinct flavour.
During the month of August, we move our bees to Cropton forest.
The bees forage on the ling heather which produces the dark heather honey.
The weather on the North Yorkshire Moors can be very variable and honey crops vary greatly from year to year. Heather honey has a consistency a bit like a soft jelly, it is 'thixotropic” which makes it difficult to extract from the comb.
We have recently purchased a heather press to extract the honey by pressing it out of the comb. The comb, cut comb and chunk honey is taken directly from the frames and placed in the boxes or jars ready for sale.
All our honeys are gluten, dairy, lactose, and nut free.
All our honeys (subject to availability) can be purchased from the café, are 100% pure with nothing added and has not been heat treated.
The bees collect the nectar from the super blue flowers which are also called Star flowers. The honey contains high amounts of pollen and is a source of anti-oxidants. It has many health benefits. The seeds from the Borage flower are crushed and used to make Borage oil or starflower oil, which are high in GLA. This is a golden runny honey.
Oilseed rape is commonly grown in East Yorkshire, the bright yellow fields seen in the spring. Honey bees collect the nectar and pollen and convert it to honey in the hive. The honey has a mild flavour and has a creamy smooth texture, it is delicious spread on hot buttered toast!!!
This honey is produced by the bees foraging on the various flowers within a radius of one and a half miles from the hive, this could include blackberries, dandelions and many other flowers and trees in the area. These honeys have various flavours depending on the flowers.
At the beginning of August we take around 12 colonies of bees up to the North Yorkshire Moors, the bees forage on the ling heather and bring home a beautiful amber jelly type honey. The flavour is stronger than the other honey available.
The heather blend is made up of two thirds Soft set and one third heather honey, it is a lovely spreadable honey, with a beautiful delicate heather honey Flavour.
North Yorkshire Moors Cut Comb. Minimum weight 170g (6oz)
Cut comb is honey that is cut straight from the frame, and is packed into boxes. This is a highly sought-after delicacy. Available only in the cafe
North Yorkshire Moors Chunk Honey. Minimum weight 220g (8oz)
Chunk Honey is small pieces of cut comb in a honey jar filled up with heather honey. It is the best of both types of honey. Available only in the cafe