If we hadn’t been due to deliver 15 kilos of local London Honey to Joe Fox, chef at the legendary Petersham Nurseries, on a sparkling Spring morning, we’d probably have gone anyway.
We love the versatility of honey in the kitchen. As a marinade, a rub, a glaze, a botanical, a healthy sugar substitute, a drizzle, a grace note in a vinaigrette, a dot of flavour, or just on toast, honey is unrivalled. In our book, honey deserves to sit alongside salt and pepper as a seasoning. But that night it was all about baking. With Bee’s Brilliant Biscuits.
It seems a bit mimsy to be posting about the planting of a single bronze fennel root in our Leathermarket Gardens edible planting border. The point is that it’s incremental.
NEW ROOFTOP PLANTING GUIDE
Just in time for Spring, we’ve posted our new guide to Bee-Friendly Rooftop Planting. You can download it here.
The guide’s been expertly researched and written for us by London-based garden designer Jane Finlay. Jane trained at Kew and was recently a finalist in the Society of Garden Design Student Award. Massive thanks to Jane for her inspiring urban forage suggestions. You can find out more about her distinctive approach to garden design at janefinlay.london.
With the temperature relentlessly around zero, the word “scorching” is clearly unrelated to today’s weather forecast.
Well, it is and it isn’t. This frosty time of year is ideal for a belt and braces cleansing of empty beehives. This can be accomplished by immersing the hive parts in a lye (sodium hydroxide) solution, or for smaller scale beekeepers, by using a blow-torch to singe the interior crevices and wide surfaces of brood and super boxes. That’s where the scorching comes in. Here I am, spring-cleaning a hive which I have just started to manage.
I didn’t realise when we posed for this picture that Marie Laure Legroux and I were making an impromptu version of the French tricolore: Blue, White and Red. There’s selfie solidarity for you!
At this time of year, our attention switches from bees to people. Briefly.
So we were delighted to welcome Carolina Spurlino onto our Bermondsey Street rooftop.
In the last week of November, with the bees all safely tucked up for winter, I had two speaking engagements. One was in rural Suffolk and the other in gritty Hackney. Each addressed a very different topic. The first was to an audience of fellow beekeepers, the second to a bevy of young food and drink entrepreneurs. The theme of the initial talk was a genteel one: “Preparing Honey For Show”, while the next was the fire-branding: “Bees Can’t Eat Kind Words”.