The Honey International Packers Association is an informal gathering online which seeks to inform industry and the public about the latest news surrounding honey and provide ideas and the benefits of its use.
Internationally there are many varieties of honey which are imported into the UK. The country alone produces about 4,000 tonnes of honey in any one year but the public buy ten times as much. The production in the UK can be an higher amount but due to the climate supplies aren't limitless.
Approximately 35,000 bee keepers keep the bees and honey on the move. There are around 10,000 bees in any one hive but this varies. A bee keeper tends to the bees moving their home around the country to find new fields for pollination.
Bees store nectar, which is their food source, for the Winter months as the climate ensure flowers close after the spring and summer months. The Bees actually store far more nectar then they require, hence our ability to cream some off for our own use.
The nectar which Bees transfer to the hive sets after the evaporation of water, leaves the waxy substance we term honey. It is possible to eat it straight from the hive itself, but we clean it up a little through a variety of heating mechanisms to make it more pure. Nothing is ever added to the jar honey, a jar has been known to last 2000 years.
A lot of people are intimidated by the term gourmet, but gourmet food is basically just food that is made with a focus on quality ingredients and expert preparation, so you can be sure that its value is high.
When trying to come up with recipe ideas for the week, trying to mix it up by including a wide vairety of food products can help combat boredom, give you a more balanced diet, and make trying out new things a more regular occurrence.
Honey has been used in a variety of ways since the dawn of time - well at least knowingly for the last 7,000 years. We use honey to make beer - mead, as a sweetener in drinks and food but also as a great tasting flavour.
In history the honey, thanks to its natural bactericidal and antiseptic properties has been used for medicinal purposes, and while you don't find many doctors applying honey to open wounds and cuts so as to heal.
In the main we still take honey in hot drinks with lemon to soothe coughs and help us get through a cold or the flu. HIPA are open to feedback on the website but overall we wish to promote British made honey, such as Apple Blossom, Borage, Cherry Blossom, Hawthorn, Heather, Lime Blossom, Dandelion to the wider international market but also seek out import opportunities for retailers in Britain.