If you’re suffering from hayfever this year then the remedy could literally be on your doorstep.
Known in the area as ‘The Bee Lady’, Deborah Wolf has been supplying raw honey to people with the condition – with great results.
‘I have no idea how it works but it would seem that if you eat honey made by bees from where you live, it will reduce your symptoms,’ she said.
Deborah started beekeeping three years ago when a swarm literally landed in her garden.
‘It was a huge learning curve but so rewarding,’ she said and since that day she has been teaching others.
‘There are different ways of doing things. I prefer to teach people what I do with the proviso you have to find your own style.’
Honey is one obvious by-product of beekeeping but Deborah always has leftover wax and so has started a pop-business selling cosmetics, candles and as some of the bees are in an orchard she also makes apple cider vinegar. This helps fund the ongoing care of her hives.
She explains that established beehives only need to be looked into fortnightly – and she has them placed all over the county including on the top of pubs and on various rooftops.
The idea of bees buzzing around, particularly in the current swarm season, can cause panic. But Deborah says they are not looking to sting.
Having said that, she does get stung all the time – something she says is just part of her work.
‘It hurts for a moment and sadly that Bee dies. I always tell the Bee there was no need for that. A sting is constructed like a needle with a sack of venom on the end. The natural instinct is to pinch the sting to pull it out. This squeezes the venom sack into you. You should just flick it away sideways.'
She has had two stings that have gone straight into a blood vessel requiring immediate IV antibiotics. But she says the bees are worth it!
‘The fact that raw honey helps hayfever seems logical as you are treating the effects of local pollen with something made from local pollen. I have had so much great feedback where people have given up the antihistamines in favour of honey.'
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