Honey company and wildlife trust taste success with hive partnership

    Hilltop Honey owner Scott Davies (left) with Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust’s chief executive Clive Faulkner at one of the nature reserve hives.

    A successful Mid Wales honey company has formed a mutually beneficial partnership with Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust (MWT).

    The trust is allowing Hilltop Honey, based at Caersws, near Newtown, to locate an apiary each with up to 10 hives on three nature reserves. The bees pollinate plants on the reserve and surrounding land while producing top quality Welsh wildflower honey and the company makes a monthly donation to the trust to support its work.

    The first nature reserve apiary was established last summer and was such a success that Hilltop Honey is to locate two more on other undisclosed reserves this summer.

    A “perfect marriage” is how Hilltop Honey’s owner Scott Davies, 28, described the partnership. “The nature reserves are brilliant sites for wildlife and producing honey as they have protected wildflower meadows for the bees.

    “The main things we look for when establishing an apiary are good forage, south facing if possible and good access without being seen in remote locations. All three nature reserves meet those criteria and have great honey making potential.

    “In return, I enjoy supporting Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust which is doing positive things to help bees and other wildlife. The partnership works well.”

    Clive Faulkner, MWT’s chief executive, said the trust had worked with Hilltop Honey to identify the best reserves where apiaries could be sited.

    “We are interested in making our nature reserves work for both the wildlife and for people,” he explained. “It’s brilliant that the reserves are producing something that is useful and worthwhile in addition to all that fabulous wildlife. Bees are pollinators and it all fits together really well.”

    Mr Davies who supplies Welsh, British and European honey products to customers across the UK, is keen to add to the company’s list of reliable suppliers and plans to expand his own apiaries in the next year. Suppliers are hand-picked and their honey rigorously tested to satisfy strict quality control tests.

    Due to the growing demand for Hilltop Honey’s natural products, Mr Davies is creating three new jobs within the next quarter, taking the workforce to 12. He has recently secured large orders to supply Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores.

    Having started the business in his parents’ kitchen nearly five years ago, he now employs nine full time staff and supplies honey, comb honey and bee pollen to major High Street and online customers. His ambition is to become the number one honey company in the UK.

    Hilltop Honey recently supplied the Raw Welsh Wildflower Honey that was used to create special chocolate truffles for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.