"My mum (Catherine Gray) is based in Nayland, Suffolk and has been keeping bees over a decade. She’s horribly allergic to bees (anaphylactic/EpiPen allergic!) but still persists.
A local beekeeper had a wild swarm to house and asked her if she’d be up for taking a couple of hives at the bottom of the garden and give beekeeping a go – she agreed! First time she got stung she unearthed an ancient EpiPen only to realise the adrenalin shot was a good eight years out of date – an ambulance was called (needless to say, subsequent pens are kept diligently within date).
Since then Barry the beekeeper has been her mentor, teacher and wingman, guiding her in in the delicate art of beekeeping – always accompanying her into the hive so as to make things less treacherous.
A keen maker of potions, my mum is forever playing with tinctures using the elixir produced by her hard working bees. The bee balm is a tried and tested recipe that’s been used in our family for years.
Using her beeswax along with unctuous orange blossom oil and rosewater, this balm smells delicious. Great as a lip balm but equally great on burns, scars, dry skin and some swear by it to relive eczema and dermatitis.
Ever keen to prove the magical powers of her balm, my mum basted her face in the stuff overnight, hoping it would act as a miracle wrinkle cream, alas she woke to an outbreak of pimples. A youthful elixir of youth it aint – a great barrier cream it is!"