Saturday, October 05, 2013

Beekeeping Christmas Gifts

It is the time of year again where we start trying to think of what original presents we could be buying for Christmas. If you plan to buy presents for a beekeeper or can't think of what to ask for yourself, here are some ideas to consider.

Books are always welcome in the Winter months when beekeeping is less frantic than it is in the Summer. There are so many books to choose from though and you should have a good look through to see if any suit your current needs. There are two I have gone for this year, one is a Beekeeping book and the other is a Honey book.

Wisdom for Beekeepers by Jim Tew is a great little book that contains 500 tips for beekeepers. I liked this as the kind of book you can dip in and out of to take away a few good ideas. This has only just been released and although written in America, the vast majority of content is applicable to beekeepers outside of the states. There is great description of the book on the publishers site and a useful preview of some of the first few pages. The author has a practical way of writing and his academic background comes through in his tips, but it is still an easy read. It is nicely illustrated along the way, but the pictures tend to be decorative rather than helpful, which is maybe a missed opportunity. This does not detract from a good book which I do recommend for beginners and experienced beekeepers alike. About £12 on Amazon.

The Little Book of Honey by Elizabeth Gowing really is a little book, so don't be surprised when it arrives. It is a charming book though, not just full of lots of original ways to use your honey, but lots of stories about the authors travels in places all over the world, the honey she found there and stories behind how that honey is produced and used in those locations. It would make a great stocking filler and would suit beekeepers, but also cooks are sure to be interested in this fascinating book. Check out her own site for more details about her work and other books too; you can buy the book direct from her for about £7.

You may have heard of guerrilla gardening. This is a product from that theme. These are clay 'grenades' that can be thrown into a waste ground of some description; the grenade breaks open then the seeds and soil are spilled over the waste ground. Some weeks later a small area of wildflowers are born and will spread across the area. These are even recommended by the BBKA! £10 for three from this site

Tea towels? Everyone needs them and BBKA are selling Bee Facts tea towels illustrated with a traditional skep for £7.50. Great fun and an attractive, practical gift!

Burt's Bees cosmetics are good quality and are great for the beekeeping theme. The gift sets are great if you have not used them before, but you get to know which ones you like best; one of my favorites is the coconut foot creme which is £12.99. Take a look at the website for Burt's Bees, there is something for everyone.

Fran Evans is a Welsh artist and I am a fan of her work. Three Bad Mice sell her greetings cards, but some of her illustrations are also available on some charming ceramics - shown here is the Bees and Lavender mug design sold for £12.99. There are lots of good cards and gifts on this site, many with a bee theme - use their search engine to focus on the bee related products.

Rococo is a very good chocolate producer and they make lots of specialty flavor bars that are made on their signature bee mould. You can buy their products direct on their main website and the three bar gift pack of their bee bars would make a great gift at £5.75, or buy individual bars are £1.30 each. I like the dark chocolate and chilli pepper which has a good kick. I was also tempted by gummi bees; honey flavoured and vitamin enriched jelly sweets that will make another good stocking filler for £4.99 from the Hive Honey Shop.
On the subject of chilli, this Honey Habenero BBQ sauce is a great product in cool packaging and would suit the beekeeper that likes to BBQ. Superb on steaks or my favourite, pork ribs. This is a hot chilli and honey BBQ sauce and although it is £9.99 at FireBox, it is a real treat. 

Another good stocking filler would be an uncapping fork which you can get at most beekeeping suppliers, but here is a link to Becky's Bees who sell them for £5. My friend Ted, who is the education secretary at our local beekeeping association, recommended these to me this year and I got on really well with them.

Finally, a great fallback gift for the beekeeper - gloves. Thornes sell a great range, although I like the goat skin ones shown at this link. Gloves get dirty so easily over the year and it really is a treat to have a fresh pair at the start of the season, free from any disease or propolis, they're not sticky either, it feels great to have a new pair. And even if your beekeeper has enough gloves, they can be stored and used in the future. Just make sure you get the right size! There is a guide to sizing on their site, so check that if you are not sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment