I’m sure we are all aware of the benefits of honey, in fact since ancient times, it’s been used as both a food and a medicine.

It offers several health benefits, but is particularly healthy when used instead of refined sugar, which is 100% empty calories.

Now, M&S launches its first ever small batch honeys from individual apiaries, with 30 unique varieties to try!

Before we introduce you to the new range, here are our Top Five Honey Health Benefits……

Honey Can Help Suppress Coughs in Children

1. Honey Contains Some Nutrients

Nutritionally, 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose. It contains virtually no fibre, fat or protein.

2. High-Quality Honey Is Rich in Antioxidants

High-quality honey contains many important antioxidants. These include organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids. Scientists believe that the combination of these compounds gives honey its antioxidant power.

3. The Antioxidants in It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease, and honey may help lower it.

4. Honey Can Help Suppress Coughs in Children

Coughing is a common problem for children with upper respiratory infections. These infections can affect sleep and quality of life for both children and parents. Honey can help suppress a cough.

5. Honey Also Helps Improve Cholesterol

High LDL cholesterol levels is a strong risk factor for heart disease. This type of cholesterol plays a major role in atherosclerosis, the fatty buildup in your arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

We should also never underestimate the importance of bees, who are renowned for their role in providing high-quality food (honey, royal jelly and pollen) and other products used in healthcare and other sectors (beeswax, propolis, honey bee venom).

But the work of bees entails much more!

The greatest contribution of bees is the pollination of nearly three quarters of the plants that produce 90% of the world’s food. A third of the world’s food production depends on bees, i.e. every third spoonful of food depends on pollination.

To help with this, M&S has introduced over 30 million British honeybees to 30 sites on its Select Farms for the FIRST TIME, creating a series of small batch honeys from individual apiaries around the UK, each with different shades and flavour profiles

M&S is passionate about protecting the environment, and as part of their Fresh Market Update campaign they’re championing British honeybees and beekeeping standards on their Select Farms across the UK, whilst also ensuring wild pollinators are supported.

M&S has introduced over 30 million British honeybees to 30 sites

M&S work with expert beekeeper David Wainwright to place honeybee hives across more than 26 different Select Farms locations. From Herefordshire to Hampshire, each Select Farm was chosen because it had a beneficial environment and produced the right crops to sustain the bees. The bees in turn help the farmers get greater yields on their crops and produce better-quality food due to the thorough pollination the bees provide.

To showcase the diversity and deliciousness of British honey, M&S have kept the honey from each apiary separate, meaning each Collection Select Farms Honey (£4.50) is unique to the exact site and the taste and colour of the honey from each location will vary – resulting in a kaleidoscope of colours and flavours! Each jar is labelled with the farmer, beekeeper and apiary it came from.

M&S Collection Select Farms Honey, £4.50

Enjoy a jar of Badger Corner Apiary Honey, where the bees live happily with the badgers on a Hampshire hillside, gathering the honey from hawthorn and rapeseed. Or perhaps you’ll come across our Lutton Apiary honey, where our Northamptonshire bees had a wealth of wild berries, raspberries, and brambles to choose from. Or maybe you’ll spot a jar from Knobbs Farm in Warwickshire, where the apiary was surrounded by hedgerows rich in damsons and sloes. With over 30 to find, the hunt is on – which ones will your local M&S have?

David Wainwright is their expert beekeeper and has been producing top-quality honey for M&S for more than 10 years. This spring and summer he’s overseeing the Select Farm honeybees and harvesting their unique crop. David told us…..

“Having worked with M&S for many years, I’m looking forward to seeing how customers react to this very exciting Select Farms honey. It will be a unique taste of 2021, with each jar reflecting the exact flowers and plants which were thriving in that particular region throughout the season. Even if we did the exact same locations next year, the batch of 2022 would be totally different again due to all the variables out of our control, such as the fluctuations in weather and the plants the bees choose to land upon, so it’s really a totally unique experience to try this honey.”

David Wainwright – Expert Beekeeper

Heather Chapman is Head of Technology for Produce at M&S, she told us….

“The decision to produce our own Select Farms Honey this year is an exciting one for us and our farmers, we can’t wait to see what customers think about the unique flavours and hyper-local feel of the product we’ve created. It’s been a passion project for us all! But it’s not just about honey, it’s also about demonstrating that wild pollinators such as bumblebees form a key part of the wider ecosystem, which we need to respect and support. Therefore, our team has worked hard to place small groups of hives in each location, ensuring ample forage for the honeybees, but also for the wild pollinators too.

We’ve also placed signage in stores to help customers see which products, such as our British berries, were helped along by bumblebees or honeybees, as well as calling out all our customers can do to support bumblebees at home via our Bee Blog and social media channels.”

If you’d like to find out more about the range of honey, and how M&S are helping protect our environment and the honey bee, just go HERE.