The bees’ needs

Back to Clarke’s Journal

1st June 2021

Do bees have knees? Well, yes, as it turns out (after some feverish Googling) but

The bees’ needs

Do bees have knees? Well, yes, as it turns out (after some feverish Googling) but they also have needs.

bob the honey expert

Mr & Mrs Clarke are passionate about commitment to the environment, with particular attention being paid to the ways in which we can celebrate and assist nature, through the home. It’s a delicate balance after all. The benefits of the great outdoors and our quest for manicured and well-maintained garden spaces can sometimes be in conflict with nature’s needs and that of our tiny troopers, the bees.

We know that the world needs bees; pollination being their main, but crucial, gig. But it is worth noting that they benefit hugely from our actions too. Recently there has been an uptake in bee keeping activity in and around the home. Bob (pictured) is one such honey producer in Geddington, an area which Partner, Alix Brown, frequents on his house hunting missions. Bob lives in the Northamptonshire village, between Kettering and Corby, and started making honey from hives in his own garden. This hobby-cum-passion-project has evolved so much that he now has hives in the local farmland and on Boughton House estate, a beautiful stately home with some incredible gardens.

This now full-on bee project is not limited to Bob and his bees, as many are turning to beekeeping and other forms of bee protection to ensure that our our lives continue to be enriched by them.

In celebration of the humble bee, we’ve taken a closer look at the insect community’s fuzziest and, frankly, snazziest dressed insect (sorry butterflies, stripes are always in style) and the ways we can embrace bee culture.

homey breakfast

No Mow No Problem

bee meadow

You’ve seen and heard it here, Mr & Mrs Clarke are huge proponents of the ‘No Mow May’ movement and it’s entire premise of bringing wildlife back to the humble garden. Giving nature and the lawnmower a breather can do wonders for our local ecosystems; the wildflower, flora and fauna, so, why stop at May?

Giving your garden a breather to embrace its wild side means you can down trowel and pick up a cold brew (or crisp wine) while nature takes centre stage on the lawn and replenishes.

If we can go for months in lockdown without a haircut, so can the turf.

Two’s company, bees a crowd

Do you know if your land deeds allow you to keep bees on your property? This can be documented in some housing deeds meaning that if you’re considering keeping bees yourself, you’ll need to know whether you’re legally entitled to.

This is also a consideration for any existing home or future property you’re looking to move to as deeds on older properties that perhaps once operated as something other than a homely abode, could contain restrictions on any animals and pets. If you find yourself restricted, seeking out alternative bee keeping premises, a la Bob, could be the solution to your honey-making needs.

Furthermore, taking those first steps to full keeper status is quite a leap, so seek out the pros for guidance.


Home sweet home vibes

long barn ashbourne

There is something so homely and comforting about bees, bumbling in and out of the kitchen window, occasionally fighting a clear glass panel for freedom. The association with good health and positivity comes hand in hand with the mood-lifting seasons in which they are at their most busy. How we feel about and live within our own homes is so often affected by our natural surroundings.

Bringing elements of nature in, can lift moods and interiors all at once.

Support local, stave off sneezes

Locally sourced honey could be the solution to all hayfever troubles. (Please note, we’re not doctors) The closer by your honey is produced, the more likely it is to be made with nearby pollen, meaning you’re taking in that which is around you and building up a natural defence to it.

Once again, bees, you rule!


Honey I made a cocktail

Set in the Cotswolds, The British Honey Company has hives aplenty across Oxfordshire, pollinating British hedgerows and meadows all in the name of delicious honey. With 275 hives and sourcing only the best honey from bee farmers accredited by the Bee Farmer’s Association (naturally), The British Honey Company has poured its energy, and it’s honey, into it’s own distiller, producing some award winning liquors and infusions under the moniker Keepr’s. And there’s more; whiskey, vodka and gin all come together in harmony (not in one glass, don’t worry) to pair with honey in a myriad of ways, perfecting the notes and sweet subtleties of this delicious British made product.

In the spirit of all things honey and bee related, we present to you The British Honey Company’s recipe for The Bees Knees…

keepr honey cocktail

  • You will need
    A martini glass or equivalent, chilled
  • 60ml Keepr’s Classic London Dry Gin with honey (or any other gin will work)
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 30ml or to taste of Honey Syrup (to be made – it’s super simple)

For the syrup
In a small saucepan gently simmer 1 jar of honey with 75ml of water. When the honey has dissolved, remove from the heat. Store in an air tight jar for up to one week.

For the cocktail
Take your ingredients, add to a shaker and mix it up! Pour into a pre-chilled glass and taste test for the sweet balance before sitting back in the sun and enjoying!

Looking to buy a home around The Welland Valley & Northamptonshire? As well as being local experts, we also sell homes (if you hadn’t already spotted) so why not have a chat with Alix.