Nov 24th. 2013

EVERY LAST DROP

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Bees have had a rough trot this year. The harsh, cold winter stretched on into April and May, and where flowers should have bloomed we were getting snow instead. This left the bees with little to feed upon, and around one third of the U.K.’s bees were wiped out.
That’s why the honey the bees produced this year is so precious. We contemplated this on Wednesday night at our ‘Every Last Drop’ event at Wolff Olins.

Our members indulged in some tastings of five different types of honey. Amazingly, despite the close proximity in which each of these honeys was harvested (three of them within half a mile of each other), they all had very distinct flavours. As we tasted, we could speculate on the different plants each of the colonies had lived off. Wolff Olin’s honey had an elderflower tinge. George Green School’s bees had clearly feasted upon summer plants, like luscious lime trees, which gave the honey a distinct citrus flavour. Some tasters noted the nutty essence of Camley Street’s honey.

Those who were taken with one of the flavours could bid for their favourite honey in our silent auction in the hope that they might take home a jar of their own. In some cases, these jars were one of only one produced over the year – so they really were a rare treat. Each of the jars reached prices ranging between £25 and £35, which will all be reinvested in the Honey Club.

On the evening we heard from some Honey Club members who reminded us to plant bee friendly plants and leave stems in our gardens, to help make sure the bees have a better year this year. Brian, our expert beekeeper told a beautiful story of how he watched his bees ‘dancing’ to let the other bees know the direction and distance that they had to fly to get food. Brian went on to present certificates to some of our Global Generators, who explained how doing a short beekeeping course taught them not to be scared of bees. The best quote of the night? ‘Treat bees as your friends – remember, they’re bees, not cobras!’