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Heather Honey from the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Heather Honey
Honest, pure, hand-pressed, unadulterated heather honey from the Scottish Highlands.
Willow Lohr has been professionally teaching Bushcraft, Wilderness Living skills and Primitive Handskills to adults, children and professionals for the past 18 years and is currently the lead instructor and course coordinator at Living by Nature, but most importantly she is a qualified Master beekeeper.
As a qualified Master beekeeper, Willow Lohr usually keeps about 15 colonies of bees at her cottage in the Scottish Highlands. These native 'heather bees' produce a rich tasting honey during the 2-3 weeks in August when the Ling heather blooms. Collecting heather nectar is difficult for the bees in a colony; the weather is changeable, and the blossoms are small and remote on the hills in the distance. To make one pound of honey, the colony must visit 2 million flowers, fly more than 55,000 miles, and that is the life's work of about 800 bees.
The nectar of heather makes a unique honey that is thixotropic. This means that the honey becomes a gel when not stirred, but liquefies again when stirred.
Heather honey cannot be spun centrifugally from the combs, as with blossom honey, but must be pressed, which destroys the combs. Each year the bees at Willow Lohr make new combs, which takes the bees most of the spring and early summer. In the fall, the new combs are ready for the harvest of heather honey. So heather honey is a lot of extra work for the bees, but also for the beekeeper. This is one of the reasons why heather honey costs more than supermarket honey.
Did you know that a bee makes only 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its entire life?
In addition, heather honey is a relatively "rare" honey, as it is collected in the Scottish highlands during a short summer drawdown. But, because the bees gather the nectar and pollen from this vast wilderness, it can be said that the honey is truly pure and organic.
Heather honey has virtually the same medicinal properties attributed to the well-known Manuka honey. Heather honey is
- Speeds up the healing process and fights infections
- Soothes the throat and colds
- Helps you sleep
- Relieves hay fever
These properties like those of Manuka honey remain active in the honey as long as the honey is not heated during the comb extraction and bottling process. For this reason, Willow Lohr hand-presses her honey in a traditional hand-press without any heat or pasteurization through a muslin cloth so that trace elements of propolis, pollen and rich antimicrobial proteins remain intact. The honey in the jar is exactly like the honey the bees made for themselves; unadulterated, straight from the flowering hills in the highlands of Scotland.
The availability of this artisanal honey is limited and seasonal, as Willow Lohr only collects and presses honeycombs that are surplus to the needs of the colonies.
The honey is available in two sizes:
- 230 grams
- 340 grams
For the record: This is not Manuka honey but Manuka like honey because it has almost the same medicinal properties as Manuka honey. Manuka honey is originally from New Zealand and gets its name from the fact that the bees there feed on the blossoms of the Manuka tree (Leptospermum)