Hertfordshire honey: 5 of the best local honey producers
- Credit: Art Rachen from Unsplash
Unprocessed, artisanal honey tends to be better for you than the mass-produced stuff you find on supermarket shelves. Look out for raw, unheated, unpasteurised honey, which preserves more enzymes, natural vitamins, phytonutrients and other nutritional elements that make honey so good for us. Local honey is also rumoured to offer relief from seasonal allergies, since repeated exposure to small amounts of allergens is a common allergy treatment. Alas there is no solid scientific proof for this, but honey is still all kinds of good for you and local honey means fewer food miles!
1. K&N Raw + Pure Hertfordshire Honey, Hitchin
This Hertfordshire hedgerow honey is cold extracted and lightly filtered to preserve the healthy natural proteins, enzymes and natural vitamins that make honey so good for us. K&N's Herts honey comes straight from hives near Baldock and Hitchin and has a beautiful floral perfume and delicate flavour.
2. Hertfordshire Honey, Knebworth
Hertfordshire Honey, based in Woolmer Green, produces raw, unheated, honey from its own honeybees. Two crops are produced each year - the first is foraged from spring flowers in April and May; the second from summer flowers in July. Each crop offers a different taste as the bees feast on different plants, and you can buy both clear and set honey as well as cut comb honey. Order online, collect in person or track it down at your local farm shops or farmers' markets.
3. Copley & Buckley Honey, St Albans
Copley & Buckley has 22 hives and everything is produced, extracted and bottled into jars in St Albans - all by hand without filtering out pollen or heating the honey. Raw honey is extracted by hand straight from the honeycomb, strained to remove stray particles of wax from the honeycomb and then bottled into jars. This means the honey will set, but if you like yours runny, it it possible to re-liquefy it by gently warming the jar in water. Buy Copley & Buckley honey from Carpenter's Nursery on St Albans Road, Loafing in Wheathampstead, and Charlie's Coffee & Company in St Albans.
4. Buzzworks Association, Hitchin
BuzzWorks is a Hitchin-based charity that teaches beekeeping and educates families about the importance of the honeybee. The volunteer association hosts visits to its BuzzWorks Discovery Centre where you can enjoy the bee-friendly garden, beekeeping exhibition and watch the bees at work. The Honeyworks Beekeeping Centre also offers support and training courses for local beekeepers. You can also find them at Hitchin Farmers' Market on the last Saturday of every month (now up and running again) to buy some pure local honey.
5. Ivel Springs Honey, Baldock
Beekeeper Brian Homewood manages a small apiary in Baldock where a family of local beekeepers work tirelessly to help local bees create the perfect natural honey. The bees forage from trees, fruit and flowers in and around Baldock, collecting nectar from your garden to create runny honey, soft-set, cut comb (in season) and chunk honey (a combination of extracted honey and comb honey). Find it for sale at Baldock Allotment shop, as well as at Chapmans Butchers, Tapps Garden Centre and Thornes Garden Centre, Letchworth.
St Albans & District Beekeepers’ Association (SABKA) also hosts this super useful honey map to help you find outlets and beekeepers who sell local honey around St Albans:
And here's another from Hertfordshire Beekeeper's Association, covering a much wider area:
- How to help bees in your garden by Herts garden designer Nic Savage
- Recipe: Honey panna cotta with raspberries by the team at The Golden Fleece, Braughing
- Local food and drink producers in Hertfordshire