Patrick James, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

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Patrick James has been keeping bees for 11 years, and now has over 40 hives in 2 apiaries.  When I visited him at home, he’d brought most of them back to his house for the winter so his back garden was full, with hives even on top of each other. I made the most of his experience and asked him loads of questions!  I was very jealous of his harvest, which put mine to shame.  Patrick persuaded his wife and friend to take time off work to help him extract all of the honey. Apparently everyone had fun!  His bees really are in a beautiful spot - Patrick gave me directions to Symonds Yat to get a great view looking down the Wye Valley.  The pictures don't do it justice really.  The main plants the bees will have been foraging on for his fruity honey are bramble, sweet chestnut, fruit trees and balsam. My band of tasters said they could taste dried fruit, dates, tropical fruits, and a minty, floral taste.

Emily AbbottComment