The Early Days
Re-wind to 2015, starting out whilst Suzie was completing a PhD in molecular nutrition an an idea was born out of a passion for bees, Champagne, and honey.
Luke kept bees as a hobby, as he did do since around the age of 10 and Suzie quickly got the beekeeping bug when they met back in 2011.
Combining Suzie’s science background and their joint love of bees, champagne and honey, an idea was formed and many trials followed to see if you could make the bee equivalent of Champagne!
The Bees | Honey and Sparkling Mead
Producing honey was always the cornerstone of what Northumberland Honey Co did, but as demand for Sparkling Mead increased, the honey produced has been increasingly diverted towards Sparkling Mead.
This enabled increase in the number of colonies kept, and since 2018 colony numbers have increased from around 40 colonies to a present day number in excess of 200. With a focus on breeding sustainable bees that survive better!
We are all about safeguarding the future of the honey bee, increasing their sustainability and number. The great support received for our bees, pure natural honey and range beeswax candles and of course Sparkling Mead has meant that we have been able to signficantly increase bee numbers at a rate of around 3,000 bees for every bottle of Sparkling Mead consumed!
Something worth shouting about!
Research and Development
To get to where Northumberland Honey Co is today has taken plenty of research, plenty of product development. Starting out in the early days Suzie and Luke spent time in Champagne learning the méthode tradionelle but also travelled to the USA, where mead is very popular and meaderies a plenty, to learn about making mead on a commercial scale.
Fast forward to 2023, and the first 8 years of Northumberland Honey Company with our birthday being in February.
The end of 2022 saw the much anticpated release of our first vintage (2016), the oldest traditional method Sparkling Mead that we know of. Aged on the lees for 6 years and recently disgorged in 2022, limited to just 50 bottles a really special part of mead making history in Northumberland.
Our Family History
Although Northumberland Honey Company was established back in 2015, beekeeping has been in Luke and Suzie’s family for generations on both sides. Going back as far as the early 1900s with Luke’s grandad, pictured here housing a swarm of bees in a traditional WBC hive in the family orchard.
It gives a great sense of pride to be able to continue the family tradition and pass these vital skills onto the next generation.
Northumberland Honey Company is very much a family business. With husband and wife Luke and Suzie at the helm, son Archie (5) who already has his own beesuit, loves bees and of course honey! Luke and Suzie have also just welcomed baby Jasper, with these youngsters the future of beekeeing at Northumberland Honey Co will be in great hands.