My morning honey, crinums, hives and carpenter bees

Bee hives in a wildflower meadow

I stir a little honey in my coffee each morning and firmly believe it’s much better for me than sugar (please don’t break the illusion!). It’s sweeter and tastier, so I use less.

I’ve recently sipped my way through a special jar of crinum honey, made by bees lucky enough to  forage in idyllic surroundings on the crop of crinum lilies that flourish almost at their hive legs at Jenks Farmer’s flower farm. Thanks Tom and Jenks!

Our jar was a gift and I’m not sure you can buy it. I couldn’t find it online at but I’ve included the link as you might be as interested as I am to find out more about their crinum lilies.

Spray painted crinum lily bubsThey offer a great selection of varieties, supplying massive, healthy-looking bulbs, spray painted so you know which variety is which. I found these lying on a table.

I hope I get chance to go back and see the crinums in flower: so many of these majestic bulbs flowering together must be an amazing sight.

I’d love to see their baby donkey too, born at Easter and named Bunny.

I decided I needed something delicious to follow their crinum honey to prevent a morning anticlimax, so I treated myself to some Mountain Honey. It’s mass produced but wonderfully scented – and FairTrade certified.

Recently, sipping my coffee seems to have mysteriously summoned up the neighbourhood carpenter bees. They’re supposed to be solitary creatures compared to honeybees, but three or four of them have wandered inside over the last few days.

Carpenter bees are large enough to be alarming at first sight but on further acquaintance, appear amiable and furry-looking, like cartoon characters. Often we can use light to guide them out of the house. Otherwise we gingerly use a pint glass and postcard to trap their bumbling bodies for long enough to release them.

It’s supposed to take a good deal of provocation to draw the lady carpenter bee’s fire power: the male doesn’t sting at all. And one wood bee buzzes as loudly as a hive – OK I’m exaggerating there, but you certainly wouldn’t miss it.

If another one comes I’ll try to take a picture, though I imagine they’ll be camera shy. They certainly don’t seem to stay still for more than a moment or two.

Thinking about it, I wonder if they are territorial and we just keep getting visited by the same friendly bee?

The hives in my picture are from a wild flower meadow at Hidcote. If you love gardening you might enjoy my recent post on Hidcote’s red border.

5 Replies to “My morning honey, crinums, hives and carpenter bees”

    1. I’ll look out for it. Your comment made me search for the honey which led me to Wiki’s info on monofloral honeys. Some of those sound delicious!

  1. Great looking hives … I have never heard of a Carpenter bee before, so I did a Google. They look very similar to bumble bees. Interesting that they like their own company .. I bet that honey tastes divine in your coffee. Too naughty for me 😀

  2. Oh… my love for honey has introduced me to a new collection that I started a few years back. I collect Honey Pots. I agree with you honey in your coffee is delightful and so much better the refined sugar. I have a little honey and cinnamon everyday… I can say I am cold free for two years now. 🙂

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