Local Raw Honey and Beeswax!

The Honey Store

I was very lucky to meet beekeper Les Elliott at Ryton Local Produce Market, who has hives dotted around Ponteland producing beautiful, very local honey. All of the honey is raw, cold extracted which means it has not been heat treated. Because of this, it retains all of it's natural goodness from the pollen. Pollen comes from every type of flower on earth. As the bees collect the nectar from the flowers, they gather pollen by rubbing inside the bloom. If you are looking to take honey for hay fever, look for raw honey, cold extracted from the hives, ideally produce within a 50 mile radius of where you live. This will help you to build a resistance to the pollen from your local area, the honey contains the pollen itself which is packed full of antibodies to help you build a resistance. Once the honey has been heat treated, this natural goodness is lost! Our honey is tasty and good for you, what more could you want?! 

 

The Paddock now stocks 3 tasty varieties of honey produced by Les, all available to order for free delivery alongside your veg box or why not come and pick a jar up from The Paddock at our Farm Shop.

 

Our customers say the honey is delicious and the best they have every tasted!

 

We also have blocks of beeswax available. Beeswax has lots of uses within cosmetics as a natural lip balm or moisturiser, as shoe protector, wood sealant, pain and itch relief, candles, cooking, lubrication for furniture and leather and furniture conditioner among many other uses! 

 

Fresh Bee Pollen also now available - Bee Pollen is the super-food sprinkle! With a distinctive, rich taste, the bee pollen can be eaten raw in it's natural state by sprinkling on yoghurt, or cereal and is packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The bee pollen is collected through a mesh screen at the entrance to the hive large enough for the bees to pass through. As they do so, they open their pollen baskets and let the granules drop to free themselves. A mesh tray at the bottom collects the pollen harvest, some of which can be sold as pollen sprinkles and some of which must be carefully left behind to feed the hive. This is a very delicate balance, one which Les is very careful to maintain. 

 

Some of the health claims of bee pollen (among others) include:

Digestive aid

Promote concentration and energy

Stimulates the immune and endocrine system

Assists in detox

Helps stabilise metabolism

 

Local, raw honey and bee pollen has evidence to support the claim that it may help reduce the symptoms of hay fever, however if you suffer from allergies, please introduce the honey or pollen sprinkles gradually and stop taking immediately if you suffer from any adverse reactions. If you are pregnant, or unsure of whether the honey or pollen will be suitable for you, please seek advice from a medical professional. 

 

English Soft Set Honey

This honey is from a diverse variation of nectar collected during late spring and also the warm summer months of the year.  The main harvest is during early September.   Slow granulation when jarred but “Sets Soft” to a lovely “buttery consistency”.   Available as either soft set or runny honey.

 

English Heather Honey

UK Beekeepers place their “out hives” on remote heather moor land so their bees can collect heather nectar during July and August.   Pure Heather Honey; a strongly flavoured dark honey for the “honey connoisseur”!    

 

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About The Honey Store

 

  • A small family business based in Ponteland, Northumberland.
  • Founded by Les Elliott.   Les has always had a keen interest in Beekeeping.  As a small boy he was taught “beecraft” by Mr Beattie of Wolsington, near Newcastle airport.
  • Les is also a carpenter.  Prior to focusing on honey production, Les had a wood working shop which produced beautiful fully finished WBC garden beehives.  WBC’s are the old fashioned hives you visualise in traditional cottage style English country gardens.  Many of Les’ WBC hives are situated in pretty gardens all over the UK, also on the roof tops of city centre buildings, including the gardens of the National History Museum, Cromwell Road, London.  
  • The Honey Store is registered for food production at Northumberland Authorities and is regarded as a “micro business” by Trading Standards.
  • A micro business; as only 2 ton of pure delicious raw English honey is jarred by The Honey Store every year.
  • With only so much honey, The Honey Store supplies “selected” Farm Shops and specialist Deli Style Stores.  They also attend farmers markets, country shows and various local food events. 
  • Les’ own beehives are located in gardens, Darras Hall, Ponteland. 
  • The Honey Store supplies samples of honey to Dr Matthew Pound of Northumbria University.  Dr Pound and his team, analysis The Honey Store produce for the different types of pollen and they also determine the amount of pollen in the honey batch.  Peace of mind for customers who buy raw honey from The Honey Store for treating seasonal allergies!  

 

What is Raw Honey?

 

  • Much of the “Commodity Supermarket Honey” in the UK comes in from millions of different bee hives (mainly from non EU sources).  Large processors will mix, blend, “cut”, dilute, filter and pasteurise (cook at high temperatures) massive batches of the blended, now a “syrup product”.  This process will keep the syrup “runny” but most of the flower pollen and all of the natural enzymes and other micronutrients will be lost.
  • To retain natural goodness and quality, we do not “heat treat” or pasteurise our honey to prevent granulation (setting).  All Honey Store produce is “raw” cold extracted, double sieved and straight from the comb. 
  • Nothing added and nothing taken away, our honey is just how our bees like it!
  • Bees like to eat “runny honey”.  In the cold mid-winter they will cluster around their combs maintaining a temperature of 25oC.   This keeps their honey runny! 
  • This is also what we do!  In our work shop we have a warming cabinet set on thermostats at 25oC.   This is how we have runny and set honey.
  • Raw Honey will set over time if stored below 25oC. This is normal, as nectar from flowers contains Fructose and Glucose, a natural sugar.
  • Place a jar of pure set honey into hot water and it will return to runny!  
  • Don’t put your honey in the fridge!  This will speed up granulation.
  • Legally we need to apply a Best Before date of up to 3 years on our jars.  When kept warm and in a dark cupboard, your honey will not spoil even after this date!
  • Raw Honey is not recommended for children under 1 year old
  • Many of our customers honey use raw honey for relieving hay-fever and soothing sore throats.  Also an aid for general wellbeing!

 

The Honey Store’s Most Popular Honey Products

 

  • Spring Blossom Honey.  The first honey harvest of the year!   This harvest takes place during the month of June.   A mild honey collected from early spring blossom’s including Wildflower, Hawthorne, Apple, Plum, Cherry and Rape.    It sets quickly following jarring and can be gently warmed back to runny if necessary.   

 

  • English Soft Set Honey. Our most popular honey!  Regarded as a “garden” or “summer” honey.   This honey is from a diverse variation of nectar collected during late spring and also the warm summer months of the year.  (Many different types of garden flowers).  The main harvest is during early September.   Slow granulation when jarred but “Sets Soft” to a lovely “buttery consistency”.   Pour it onto your favourite breakfast cereal, or when set, try spreading it on a scrummy hot crumpet!   It will melt and fill in all of the holes!   Northumbria University class the pollen count of this honey as “Rich”.   Analysis shows in excess of 4,000 microscopic pollen grains per 1 gram of honey.

 

  • The above Spring Blossom and English Soft Set Honey’s are used by some of our customers for treating of seasonal allergies.

 

  • English Heather Honey.   UK Beekeepers place their “out hives” on remote heather moor land so their bees can collect heather nectar during late July and August.  The hives are returned to the main apiaries early September time.  Pure Heather Honey; a strongly flavoured dark honey with a peaty aroma and a caramel texture for the “honey connoisseur”!    (A favourite on a winter porridge breakfast)!

 

  • Organic Honey?   It is difficult for The Honey Store to claim their honey is Organic as their bees will forage a 3 mile radius from their hives.  Mainly they will visit gardens but there is also much farmland in the local area.   Les can’t tell his bees where to go!   However, we can guarantee that our honey is totally pure, raw and unprocessed.  Tastes good too!   

 

Some Bee Facts!

 

  • The Honey Store bees will forage a 3 mile radius of their hives.
  • During mid-summer, an average colony size will consist of 40 to 50,000 bees.
  • In the winter time honey bees will reduce colony size to 5000 / 6000 bees.  They will huddle together forming what is known as the winter cluster.  Their main focus is maintaining a comfortable interior hive temperature and the protection of their mother queen.   They are waiting for the first spring blossom to appear.
  • A honey bee colony can produce a honey surplus of over 20kg (60, 340g Jars).
  • A single worker bee produces only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
  • The queen can live for many years.  In mid-summer a worker bee lives for only 3 weeks.  A baby bee born in late Autumn will live in the warm hive all through the winter awaiting spring time.
  • Honey Bees do not hibernate.  In the winter they may take short flights if it is dry and when it is above 8oC
  • A colony is mainly girls!  Only 200 to 300 drones (boys) are part of the colony during the summer.  Their purpose is to mate with new queens, mostly they laze about the hive eating honey but in late summer, they are all thrown out of the hive by the girls!   This is where the saying “The Lazy Drone” comes from!