Isle of Colonsay Wildflower Honey is unique, not only because of its taste, although amongst honeys it is ranked with the best; but also because of its provenance, as bees and quality honey are something of a rarity on small windswept islands. We have the dedication of Andrew Abrahams to thank for this.
It is that unique combination of a native pure bred bee plus the environment in which they forage, wildflowers and herbs from the machair and heathers. One of very few isolated populations of pure bred Native Black Bee left in Europe and as such a valuable gene pool and is on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste.
Native Dark Bees are rare and threatened so they need protection. Hybridisation has reduced pure stocks to tiny pockets and any possibility of breeding fairly pure stocks of Amm bees require remote location, distanced from other known honey bee colonies. Native Dark Bees are thus kept on the isles of Colonsay and Oronsay, now granted reserve status by the Scottish Government to protect those bees from hybridization.
photo: Wendy Barrie