Tower is buzzing with latest crop

HIVE HO: Hoghton Tower beekeeper David Heaton.
HIVE HO: Hoghton Tower beekeeper David Heaton.
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There’s a bit of a buzz happening at a Lancashire landmark.

A hive of bees kept in the grounds at Houghton Tower, Houghton, have been busy and have produced this year’s first batch of honey to be sold at the historic manor house.

Head beekeper, Dave Heaton, who has been at the tower since the beginning of summer and looks after the two hives alongside his full-time job, said the great weather the county has experienced this year has certainly helped production.

He said: “The bees at Houghton mainly collect tree pollen and started to bring it in around May before we can harvest the main crop in September.

“It’s been a great harvest this year due to the good weather we’ve had so hopefully we’ll get another good harvest come springtime.”

Each of the hives at the tower house around 20,000-30,000 bees and the queen lays 2,000 eggs a day.

And this year, somewhere in the region on 120 jars have been produced.

Elena Faraoni ,secretary to the board of trustees said: “We have had bees at Hoghton Tower in the past but had been without for about a year.

“One of our objectives as a charity is to help the conservation of our local flora and fauna and we think keeping bees in the grounds is key to this.

“Bees are suffering at the moment and if we can do a little bit to help, we will.

“What is more, we think that eating and buying local produce is good for your health and good for the local economy so it makes complete sense for people to buy a locally produced honey.”

And the bees are certainly earning their keeps, said Elena, adding: “All the income goes towards maintaining these historic buildings and grounds so those who buy our honey will be helping our efforts.

“We are currently starting a very large roof restoration project at the Tower so ever little helps.”

The honey will be for sale in the tower’s giftshop and tea room soon.