Interest in the humble honey bee has seen a resurgence of late, and as one of the most frequently under-estimated conservators of a natural eco-system growing more precarious every day, it is essential that they continue to thrive and flourish in Glasgow. Surprised to hear about these streetwise urban bees that have been roaming the city all their lives? Then read on. We had a chat with Ed’s Bees to learn all about the secrets of keeping happy bees in Glasgow, and the benefits of fresh honey. Good for the planet, good for bees, good for the taste buds. Ideal.

1. Ed and his girls have been in the honey business for over 15 years

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Image: Ed’s Bees

From small beginnings in a back-garden hive, to bee hotels popping up all over Glasgow in gardens and parks, Ed’s bee business is causing a bit of a buzz. One third of the food we eat would not be available if it weren’t for bees, so honey is just the first of many rewards that we can reap from keeping the bees happy.

2. You can buy the freshest raw honey right here, in Glasgow

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Image: Ed’s Bees

Speaking of honey, the end result is a marvel. The process that takes you from combs to jars is as simple as possible – the combs are spun to release the honey from wax cells, left to settle, then poured out and ready to eat. Read more about it here, and make sure you have a taste at the first opportunity. Plus – those who struggle with hayfever should be sure to read point 5 on this list – you might just be surprised.

3. There’s more drama and warring in a hive than in Game of Thrones

Image: Sara McQueen

Sometimes, weak hives have to be united with stronger  hives to endure the winter. And sometimes, they don’t like that very much at all. Ed’s method involves choosing the weaker queen, a bit of regicide, and then place the hives on top of each other separated by only a sheet of newspaper! The bees then have the chance to use their 170 odorant detectors (like noses, but better) to get used to the smell of their new pals, but if they haven’t decided that they like each other by the time they’ve eaten through the paper, then it will become absolute carnage – think the GOT red wedding episode but with more fluff and stings.Plus, when Autumn comes, all the drone bees (the only males) are no longer tolerated and the girls will banish them from the hive to die a lonely death. Winter is coming, after all.

4. The bees get to go on holiday once a year

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Image: Ed’s Bees

The effort required for Ed to take the gals on a wee holiday is major, but he says it’s all worth it when you have a hive full of heather honey and happy bees to boot. But what is the bee equivalent of Marbs, I hear you ask? The heather moorlands of Ayrshire, of course! They nip off for some sun for a few months, and help the heather rejuvenate, too.

5. Ed’s bees can cure your hayfever

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Image: Sara McQueen

Eating honey that was produced from Glasgow flowers can desensitise hayfever sufferers to the offending pollen. Eating it in honey form won’t trigger allergies, but it will help the body get used to it. Plus, it tastes delicious. Win win!

Got space for a hive in the garden, for some delicious raw honey in your cupboards, or just want to keep up with the latest gossip from Ed’s hives? Check out their website here.