John Rayner, Saffron Waldon, Essex

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John Rayner has been keeping bees for over 30 years, with hives all over Suffolk and Essex now he’s retired. I love visiting John, his wife and bouncy Labrador.  They're always very welcoming, giving me tea, beekeeping chat and advice, and last time I went they gave me a box full of windfall apples as well as honey! We have honeys from 2 of his apiaries, one from hives that he took to the borage fields next to the village of Earls Colne. Bees love borage so this honey will mainly come from its nectar, although I’m sure there will be forage from mixed farmland, hedgerows and gardens in there as well. This honey has a caramel taste, with some saying they can taste honeysuckle too.

The other honey comes from the bees he keeps at home in his garden at Little Chesterfield. It has a fresh taste, with people detecting citrus, menthol flavours, as well as fruity and floral ones too.  

Emily AbbottComment