I've always loved bees. A balmy June day without the hum of busy, pollen-laden insects on our amaethyst haze of fragrant lavendar just wouldn't be summer! As a child, I remember my grandfather telling me how important it was to look after the bees because they were busy pollinating his vegetables. With a family of fourteen to feed this was very important! I hope I have helped our little friends in my own way.
I've scooped them out of swimming pools; gently tried to guide them to a window opening when they really would like to continue bumping the glass; I've allowed them to create a nest in a disused chimney breast even though the wax seeped through the wall and when I've had a swarm I've enlisted those lovely people at the BBKA (British Beekeepers Association) to move them to a new hive. My reward? Amazing fruits and vegetables, delicious soothing honey, beautiful beeswax candles and no end of gorgeous skincare products!
Beefayre is a company inspired by nature and the plight of the honeybee. The beautiful botanical designs, by artist and founded Sharon Jervis, aim to connect people of all ages with nature.
Since launching in 2012, Beefayre has enjoyed huge success with their range of Natural Plant Wax Candles, Diffusers and Body & Bath products.
With Beefayre's passion for conservation and helping the bees, a percentage of the company profits go back into bee conservation research and conservation projects here in the UK. Each year they giveaway thousands of 'Seeds for Bees' to encourage people to create bee friendly environments.
Their products are all made in England and use natural, sustainably sourced ingredients. There are no petroleum ingredients, parabens, suphates, artificial colours or foaming agents. Using recycled glass, all their packaging is sustainable and low impact.
I took on B chocolates in 2016 after making the life changing decision to leave my work of 37 years in the public sector and start a new venture. All our chocolates are made in a tiny unit at High House Farm in Sudbourne. We make our caramel by hand and hand cut each one before covering them in a good quality French couverture using our small chocolate enrobing machine. Our honey truffles and honeycomb thins are all handmade and dipped.
I am passionate about honey and love the variety we get. Each batch tells a story of where bees have been foraging and flavours vary from floral, to spicy, to almondy and creamy. I love incorporating that difference in batches of caramel and truffles.
We get as much locally as possible so we know hte producers and can trace the food to its origins. Being on the fruit farm, there's nothing nicer than picking loganberries or blackcurrants for truffles whilst looking at the wonderful view over Orford Ness and out to sea.
The bees are a welcome presence on the fruit farm, playing a crucial role in pollination of the fruit and on a sunny day, bees will be flying outside our chocolate unit windows, drawn by the smell of caramelising honey.
- Anne McCreadie, owner of B chocolates.
B chocolates is a producer member of the Guild of Fine Food.
Let's all be mindful of our bees this Summer and plant some bee-friendly plants in the garden! If you need some ideas on how you can help the bees then check out friendsoftheearth.uk/bees/bee-cause-what-you-can-do