Tanya started learning to keep bees under the watchful eye of family friend Chris Smith, a jeweller from Harrogate (Smith and Sons). With two hives, with beautiful New Zealand Queens, she sells her very own ‘UmpleBEE Honey’ in the shop, when available. 

TanyabeesJars and bottles for honey, jams and preserves are available all year round at Cooking Fantastic.  And we couldn’t resist showing a picture of Tanya in her fetching outfit for you!

We love the bees and also the honey they produce! Honey is far better than what most people perceive... it's pure, natural and full of health benefits. The versatility and the goodness it can bring into your everyday practical life is amazing! Not only does honey stimulate your taste buds and whet your appetite, but its unique taste has also inspired many recipes such as honey-baked ham. But is honey really good for you? Well, yes! The fact is, researchers are turning up more and more new evidence of honey's medical benefits. Honey offers antiseptic, antioxidant and cleansing properties for the health of your body from head-to-toe - from eye conjunctivitis to athlete’s foot. And also for beauty and skin care.

The 3 key health benefits of honey are:Hive2

1. Honey is nature’s energy booster Before you do some exercise eat a spoonful of honey to enable you to go that extra mile. If you are feeling low and lethargic in the morning, instead of reaching out for a cup of coffee, try honey. Spread it on your toast or replace the sugar in your morning cuppa with a spoonful of honey for a refreshing boost of energy.

2. Honey is a great immunity system builder Amongst the many health benefits of honey, what is most impressive is that it can be a powerful immune system booster. Honey’s antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties can help to improve your digestive system and help you stay healthy and fight disease.

3. Honey is a natural remedy for some ailments For thousands of years, honey has been recognised as one of the most natural home remedies to treat a wide range of ailments and complaints including athlete’s foot, yeast infections and the pain of arthritis.  It's antiseptic properties inhibits the growth of certain bacteria and helps keep external wounds clean and free from infection Here are some fantastic honey nutrition facts:


  • Honey has antioxidants it’s fat free, cholestrol free, and sodium free!
  • Honey is a source of carbohydrate, containing 80% natural sugar -- mostly fructose and glucose. And, due to the high level of fructose, honey is sweeter than table sugar which means you can add less for the same sweet effect.
  • Honey is 18% water. The less water content the honey has, the better the quality of the honey.
  • It has 2% minerals, vitamins, pollen and protein and the vitamins present in honey are B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and certain amino acids.
  • Minerals found include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.


Recently the development of resistance to antibiotics has led to a resurgence of interest into the healing properties of honey. The effective antimicrobial agents in honey prohibit the growth of certain bacteria. It contains an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide, which is believed to be the main reason for the antimicrobial activity of honey. As such, honey is a useful treatment for wounds and scalds. Cuts and scalds can be covered in honey to prevent bacteria from entering the wound and to promote healing. Honey can help treat minor acne by attacking the bacteria that cause the outbreaks while moisturising the skin to aid rejuvenation. These precious honey properties help protect the skin under the sun and help the skin to rejuvenate and stay young-looking. There have been an increasing number of manufacturers of honey skincare products such as sunscreens and facial cleansing products for treating damaged or dry skin.


TANYA TIP:  Measuring honey with a spoon is pretty easy but getting it off the spoon is another matter. Rub the spoon in margarine and the honey will come off. Or better still, use a honey dipper - available in the shop, of course!

Check out our fab Honey Recipes

My Favourite Product

lecjugI simply love my Le Creuset batter jug! I use it for many jobs, it pops in the dishwasher and looks cool on the shelf - what more can you want from a kitchen item??

It's great for making Yorkshire Puddings - just pour from the jug into the bun tins - ideal for pancakes - again, pour straight into the frying pan and I use it for beating eggs for omelettes, making cake mixes - particularly muffins where you need to be careful when mixing the ingredients and ....well, the list goes on!

Sue McQueen

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