Lyric fm: The art and the business of bees

Irish honey

Irish honey from David Lee

We eat a lot of honey at the cottage. The Husband is a particular fan of it on toast for breakfast and Little Missy always loves to get her fingers sticky with a corner of what he’s eating.

We know better than most where that honey comes from. On a good, warm day we’re normally lucky enough to have lots of bees humming around the garden: plenty of blossom on the apple, pear, cherry and quince trees, along with the hawthorn that fringes the property and comfrey gone wild in the ditch see to that.

Whether it’s true or not, it always amuses me to think (and to tell LM) that they are bees belonging to our local beekeeper David Lee, who lives just up the road. We can get jars of his honey from the shop in the village – watch out for the green Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations four-leafed clover seal to make sure you’re getting real Irish honey – and wonder, as we munch on thickly spread toast, if that particular flavour came from our garden.

I got all bedecked out in a bee suit recently to take a look at some of David’s hives for Lyric fm‘s Culture File. Despite having to take the veil and hat off to accommodate my headphones, forgetting that I had gloves in my pocket and having the most impractical outfit on – three-quarter length trousers and sandals, how clever! – I was pleasantly surprised at how docile the bees were, despite me practically pushing the microphone into their hive.

It makes the local honey taste all the nicer.



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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