Scotland is known for many things; Haggis, Robert Burns, Billy Connolly - but it has a reputation around the world that extends far beyond the Loch Ness monster and Auld Lang Syne. Did you know Scots invented the Television? And the telephone? Even penicillin was created by a Scot! Scotland is the home of great thinkers and discoveries, of rolling landscapes and delicious foods (from the healthy to the deep fried), and of course, a history littered with bloody battles and towering castles.
People all around the world hold their claim to being Scottish close to their hearts. For some people, it’s having been born or brought up in the bonnie Isle. For others, it’s a family connection - parents or grandparents from Scotland. Some consider themselves Scottish even if they have only lived there a short amount of time - or perhaps not at all. With the ongoing conversations about independence, the question of ‘what makes us Scottish’ comes up a lot.
Here at the Scottish Bee Company we are a Scottish company through and through. We even put it in our name! Based in Edinburgh, we work only with Scottish Bee farmers, cultivating and producing honey made in Scotland with only Scottish ingredients. Our sister charity, Repollinate, works to build wildflower gardens in Scotland (eventually we plan to Repollinate the whole UK, but that’s for another day!). But more importantly, it is our approach to work and community that we believe are the key cornerstones of being Scottish.
Speaking to Suzie Millar, the founder of the Scottish Bee Company, she talks a lot about the sense of community and the importance of family. “Our very own company was started with help from our family and friends, and since we began we have had several of our family members work for the company; two of my sisters, my cousin - even my Mum sits on the board of RePollinate, our sister charity. Scotland is the kind of place that stays with you - whenever you leave, it finds a way to come back to you. I studied and worked outside of Scotland for over ten years, but I found my life’s purpose with TSBC back in my home country”.
So what are the characteristics of Scottish produce?
“Because the bees forage on the wildflowers in Scotland (the pollen of which is used to make the honey), we describe our honeys as evoking ‘the taste of Scotland with every mouthful’. It’s quite hard to describe - it’s something you have to taste to understand!”
So there you have it - get tasting our honey to bring a little of Scotland to you.