Brian Bull, Chelmsford, Essex
Brian Bull has been keeping bees for more than 35 years. He's retired now, but his beekeeping doesn't seem to be calming down! He manages his apiaries and busy bees with the help of a couple of friends - and a lot of careful organisation and planning which is a lesson I took home with me! We have 2 honeys from him, one was harvested in September from bees that he took up to Bradwell-on-Sea so they could feast on the lucerne crop that local farmers were growing. Lucerne is a favourite with bees, but often harvested for cattle food before its flowered and the bees can get to it. However, this farmer had left it to flower so he could sell it as ‘posh’ hay for horses instead. My band of tasters described this as being spicy, nutty, woody, one could also taste nutmeg and lavender.
The other honey from Brian is very different. It's from bees he keeps at Willows Green, Braintree. This honey will be mainly from echium, which is a blue flowered plant grown for the oil from its seed. Its oil is a plant based alternative to fish oil and is used as a health supplements. This honey has a fruity flavour, with people also finding chocolate, butterscotch, and smokey flavours in it.