Wildflower honey is a type of honey made mainly from local wild flowers surrounding honey bee hives. A distinct flavour and aroma is produced when honey farmers limit bee foraging to one main source of nectar. Often sold as runny honey and will have been strained or filtered (filtered under heating or cold filtered). Wildflower honey is Scrumptious!
Different types of honey have different flavours, textures, colours and aromas. Wildflower honey is another type of honey that people can explore and enjoy.
What affects the flavour of Wildflower honey?
Honey bees prefer to fly around 3km from the bee hive. Imagine a circle around the hive, which is what Scrummy Honey.co.uk calls the honey flavour circle. Honey farms will have a number of local bee hives dotted around the countryside. Honey from each location will be combined to give people the finished product. Characteristics of wildflower honey come from all the flora inside the 3km honey circle surrounding each hive.
Flavour is effected by when honey is harvested and what flowers are blooming. Weather can also affect the taste of Wildflower honey. Water is required by flowering plants to produce nectar. If rainfull has been insufficient bees may need to venture outside the 3 km honey flavour circle and seek out other sources of nectar. Trees may be a better source of nectar because they have longer roots to absorb water.
Colour and flavour of wildflower honey is affected by time of year and the type of producer. For instance, a small local honey farm is more likely to obtain honey from hives that have similar locations and a similar floral mixture for bee foraging. Consequently Wildflower honey made in these circumstances may have a more distinctive flavour. Flavours that change from season to season.
What type of wild flowers go into making Wildflower honey?
Local honey farms hold the key to this secret. What flora honey bees forage on depends on the local countryside and distribution of hives used to make wildflower honey. Sources of wildflowers include wildflower meadows that are carefully managed to provide a mixture of forage for bees throughout the year. Other sites may rely on agricultural land that has been left fallow. Farmers are encouraged to leave more areas fallow to increase the variety of plants and insects including honey bees. Unused or marginal land that may not be suitable for mainstay crops can be left fallow and managed to encourage diverse set of wildflowers.
Varieties of flowering plants commonly found in wildflower meadows where bees are likely to forage include;
- Bird’s Foot Trefoil (pictured)
- Clover (pictured) including red, white and various other varieties.
- Wild blackberry
- Rosebay Willowherb
- Flowering plants associated with hedgerows like yarrow, wild carrot and cow parsley.
What about labeling?
Jars of honey where often labelled as honey with nothing added to help people know what type of honey it is. A jar labeled only as honey probably includes a source of nectar from wildflowers. It’s difficult to keep honey bees off wildflowers because they grow in most types of soil in most locations. In fact honey labelled as honey may be wildflower honey just by chance!
Honey labelled as Wildflower honey tells people the honey farm that produced the honey has gone through a process to ensure the majority of honey bee foraging happens on wildflowers.
Visit the Scrummy Honey wild flower selection
A selection of scumptious wild flower honey. Part of the Scrummy Honey selection.