New Zealand Gardner
Last updated 05:00, September 19 2015
Honey has been a constant in human history from our very earliest days. Although the advent of refined sugar sourced from sugar beet or cane supplanted honey as our sweetener of choice, it remains a pantry standard worldwide. Such is the demand for some varietals (such as manuka) that honey counterfeiting is now a real thing.
Beyond its taste, health benefits, and complex and varied flavour profiles, our attachment to honey is important because it makes us keen on bee-keeping and conservation.
Home-harvested honey is extraordinary stuff. It tastes different every year, depending on when you harvest and what’s growing nearby.
In a good year even a single hive will deliver more honey than the average person could (or should) consume in several years. Although selling it is legally problematic, backyard-honey is very well received as a gift – and is a prudent one for any neighbours likely to fuss about having hives nearby. Complaining gets pretty awkward when you’ve spread the grounds for your grievance on your toast.
However generous, greedy or Machiavellian you are with your hive-haul, you’ll still be left with an alarming volume each year – so here are a few ways to put that sweet harvest to good use.