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Mild winter results in limited edition honey at Quince Honey Farm

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 April 2016

Ian Wallace and Ruby Mapp, of Quince Honey Farm, with the new honey. Picture: Sarah Howells

Ian Wallace and Ruby Mapp, of Quince Honey Farm, with the new honey. Picture: Sarah Howells

Archant

The working honey farm in South Molton has produced a rare ivy honey thanks to the mild winter weather.

The rare ivy honey at Quince Honey Farm. The rare ivy honey at Quince Honey Farm.

There is a new addition to the shelves at Quince Honey Farm –and once it’s gone it’s not known if or when it will be back.

The ‘limited edition’ ivy honey is the rare product of this year’s milder winter season.

Bees do not usually produce enough honey to harvest during the cold months, and many lose a proportion of their colony.

But Quince Honey Farm’s Ian Wallace said this year had been so mild, beekeepers had been able to yield a crop of the special ivy honey.

Beekeeping demonstrations at Quince Honey Farm. Beekeeping demonstrations at Quince Honey Farm.

Thicker and more floral in taste than its popular clover counterpart, the ivy honey is on sale at the working honey farm in South Molton.

Ian said: “We were surprised to see we were still getting honey in October and November.

“We normally get a little bit, but we got quite a bit and managed to harvest some.

“In all the time I have been here I don’t remember getting honey during the winter like this.”

Ian said when his father, Paddy Wallace, ran the farm he lost about five per cent of his bees during the winter – but now it is more like 20-25 per cent each year.

The honey farm has 1,100 hives and produces around 60,000 jars of the sweet stuff every year.

It has undergone a number of refurbishments in the last five years, including an indoor play area and a Critter Cabin.

The latest addition is live beekeeping demonstrations.

Ian said: “We had everything else except somewhere people could watch the real thing.

“It’s great people can get so close and they can ask questions as the beekeeper works.”

Quince Honey Farm is open seven days a week. Find it in North Road, South Molton.

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