Honey from Wentworth Woodhouse on sale for first time

A buzz is expected at Wentworth Woodhouse’s gift shop… Honey produced from hives in the gardens is on sale there for the first time.

“The summer crop of mixed-flower honey is lovely and people need to snap it up while they can.” said Hoyland bee farmer Phil Askham, who owns the colonies in the mansion’s gardens.

Phil has been keeping bees for 48 years and was invited to set up an apiary in the stately home’s gardens ten years ago by its then owner Clifford Newbold.

Architect Mr Newbold wanted to encourage the bee population and occasionally liked to receive a few pots of honey for his breakfast table.

Wentworth Woodhouse’s honey is now on sale under the Yorkshire Honey label and its own branded jars are expected soon.

Phil has over 100 colonies, eight of which are normally in the mansion’s gardens, and also supplies honey to Fountains Abbey and Chatsworth Farm Shop.

Each year in late summer he transports all his bees to the heather moors at Broomhead and Bradfield for six weeks.

“Heather honey is wonderfully dark, rich and fragrant, one of the best honeys there is and that could also be on sale at Wentworth Woodhouse this autumn,” he says.

By then, Phil’s bees will be heading back in their apiaries, preparing to hibernate over winter.

Wentworth Woodhouse tea room visitors can enjoy honey from the gardens all year round, though. Head of Hospitality Darren Procter has squirreled away a few jars and uses it in several items on the menu, including the honey and rosemary shortbread.

Wentworth Woodhouse honey costs £5.60 for a 340g jar.