Glenkinchie Distillery near Pencaitland is announcing a new partnership with East Lothian based Hoods Honey with the bee experts installing three hives in the distillery garden.
The beehives are set to house a colony of up to 65,000 bees each during the summer peak of July and will help pollinate the distillery garden as well as nearby farmland and the gardens of the surrounding local community.
Putting the beehives to good use, the distillery visitor centre, which is currently undergoing a major redevelopment, will eventually produce its own brand of honey which, as well as being sold in the onsite gift shop, will be used as an ingredient in whisky cocktails served from the distillery bar.
Hoods Honey is one of the region’s top honey producers with more than 60 years’ experience tending to bees in the fields and hills of East Lothian.
As well as producing honey, the team has also diversified into a range of fragrances, skincare and candles which will also be stocked in the distillery gift shop as part of the partnership.
Glenkinchie Master Distiller, Ramsay Borthwick, said: “East Lothian where Glenkinchie calls home is known as Scotland’s garden county and is the perfect spot for us to nurture our very own bees. We’re passionate about supporting local suppliers and the local community, and with such expert knowledge, Hoods Honey are the ideal partner to help us produce our very own Glenkinchie Honey.”
Stuart Hood, owner of Hoods Honey, was born and bred in East Lothian, said: “The distillery has always been an important part of the local community and it’s great to have the opportunity to partner with them and help produce their very own honey. The new Glenkinchie visitor centre looks set to be a wonderful place for locals to visit and enjoy and we’re delighted to be part of that.”
The upgrading of the Glenkinchie visitor centre is part of Diageo’s £185m investment to transform its Scotch Whisky visitor experience.
This includes a new global visitor attraction for Johnnie Walker, the world’s leading Scotch whisky, in Edinburgh, as well as investment in 12 distillery visitor centres and the revival of the iconic lost distilleries of Port Ellen and Brora. The redeveloped Glenkinchie visitor centre is due to re-open later this year.