Matt is endlessly enthusiastic when talking about his bees. He delighted in showing us his special Cornish Black Bee, a local breed which he says are much more suited to the wet and windy weather (mizzle) of west Cornwall. He has hives all over the place trying to keep his bees away from the harmful pesticides found on industrial farms. The photos shown here were taken on a beautiful community allotment site on an Organic farm. His honey is absolutely delicious which he says is down to the fact that he doesn't harvest all of the honey, instead leaving the bees enough to survive the winter without the need to feed them sugar water or fondant which reduces the quality of the honey. This practice also contributes to much higher winter survival rates of his colonies. Less is more!
More from Matt the beekeeper:
Our bees are locally bred, rare, Cornish "black bees", well suited to our apiaries and climate in West Cornwall. Our beekeeping approach has been refined to minimise stress on the bees and provide the most natural conditions possible, within the hive. Our ethos is to work in harmony with the bees' desires and nature's rhythm. Being a small and independent producer means we can focus on both bee health and quality of product, rather than quantity.
With the help of the bees, we have won awards including Gold Medals at the Royal Cornwall Show.
The ethos of our approach is centred on the belief that the health of our bees is paramount. They are critical to so many aspects of the environment, not simply providing a financial benefit through pollination. The bee has survived on the planet for 100 million years and yet it's survival has been placed in danger in a mere 100 years. Most of the stresses placed upon the honeybee are a direct result of human greed. The Cornish Black Bee Company is determined to ensure the health of their bees. There are many ways in which we maximise health and minimise stress to the colonies. We strive to continually improve our beekeeping practices and policies, by carefully observing the bees behaviour and respecting their decision making abilities.
To shop their produce, click any photo.