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Interest Talk - Beekeeping, Tuesday 19th September 2023

Interest Talk - Beekeeping, Tuesday 19th September 2023

As part of our Community Kettle, our aim is to have an interest talk on every third Tuesday of the month. For the month of September, the topic selected was Beekeeping and what a fantastic and informative talk it was, by local Beekeeper Alan Brown.

Alan came armed with a number of props including more than 10,000 honey bees, jars of honey, bees wax, honey cake and Krupnik - a Polish honey and spice liqueur that dates back 400 years. The whole audience was captivated throughout, and everyone enjoyed themselves. A huge thank you to Alan for giving up his time and sharing his knowledge with us.

For those that enjoyed the honey cake and Krupnik, Alan has kindly shared the recipes with us.

Devonshire honey cake

(The recipe was originally taken from and then tweaked by Alan over time). 

·        250g clear honey, plus about 3 tbsp extra to glaze
·        225g unsalted butter
·        100g dark muscovado sugar  OR 100g dark soft brown sugar
·        3 large eggs, beaten
·        300g self-raising flour
·        1 tsp cinnamon

·        STEP 1  - Preheat the oven to fan 140C/ conventional 160C/gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm round loose bottomed cake tin (I used a 20cm sq tin). Cut the butter into pieces and drop into a medium pan with the sugar. Bring to the boil for 1 minute, take off heat and then add honey and stir well. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes, to prevent the eggs cooking when they are mixed in.
·        STEP 2 - Beat the eggs into the melted honey mixture using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour into a large bowl and pour in the egg and honey mixture, beating until you have a smooth, quite runny batter.
·        STEP 3 - Pour the mixture into the tin and bake on the middle shelf for 50 minutes-1 hour (test after 55 minutes) until the cake is well-risen, golden brown and springs back when pressed. A skewer pushed into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
·        STEP 4 - Turn the cake out on a wire rack and prick all over the top with a skewer. Warm (not heat) 3 tbsp honey in a small pan and brush over the top of the cake to give a sticky glaze, then leave to cool. Keeps for 4-5 days wrapped, in an airtight tin.


(The recipe is taken from )

Ingredients (for about 2 pints)
  • 2 cups clover honey
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • zest of 1/2 lemon, remove with vegetable peeler
  • 1/4 vanilla bean pod, sliced open
  • 1 allspice berry
  • 2 cups vodka

Pour honey into a saucepan
  1. Add cloves, cinnamon, lemon zest, vanilla, and allspice
  2. Warm gently (enough to thin, but keeping well under a boil) and steep for 10 minutes
  3. Add vodka
  4. Remove from heat and let steep for a couple of hours
  5. Pour through strainer (I use a jellybag)
  6. Pour into bottles
  7. Seal bottles
  8. Serve warm, at room temp, or chilled



Alan and his girls
Alan and his props
Beekeeping Talk
Community Kettlers

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Written by Lucy Armstrong and published on 20 September 2023.
Last edited on 20 September 2023.
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