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Monday, 12 February 2024

Kylemore's Heather Honey - the sweet buzz of its health benefits.

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statue and Kylemore valley
At Kylemore Abbey, nestled in the heart of Ireland's breathtaking landscapes, a new treasure awaits discovery: our limited edition Heather Honey. Harvested from half a million native Irish black bees that call the Kylemore Abbey estate home, this golden elixir promises not only sweetness but also a host of health benefits that are creating quite the buzz.
Recent research conducted by a collaborative team from Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin has unveiled the remarkable health properties of Irish heather honey. Published in the journal Food Chemistry, the findings shed light on the abundance of powerful antioxidants known as phenolic compounds present in Irish heather honey, akin to the renowned Manuka honey.
The research, led by PhD student Saorla Kavanagh and supervised by esteemed academics Dr. Blánaid White and Prof. Jane Stout, delved into the intricate characteristics of Irish honey. What emerged was a revelation: Irish heather honey boasts a phenomenally high total phenolic content, surpassing even the celebrated Manuka honey.
What sets Kylemore Abbey's Heather Honey apart is not just its rich flavour and aroma but also its profound health benefits. The research unveiled that honeys with a darker hue, like our heather honey, tend to possess a higher total phenolic content, translating to a superior antioxidant capacity. Moreover, urban multi-floral honeys, including our own, exhibit a higher total phenolic content compared to their rural counterparts, owing to the diversity and abundance of flowers surrounding the hives.
But the story of our Heather Honey doesn't end with its health-giving properties. It's a tale of sustainability, heritage, and a commitment to excellence. With 131 honey samples collected from beekeepers across Ireland, the research underscores the importance of preserving and celebrating Ireland's rich beekeeping traditions. In 2021, Kylemore introduced over 500,000 native black Irish Bees into the Kylemore Abbey estate and within months, we harvested our first pots of Kylemore Honey. 
The beehives are perfectly situated in the proximity of Victorian Walled Gardens allowing the bees to avail of all the luscious heritage flowers growing in the gardens. In addition to the gardens, the bees also have to option to enjoy all the local flora growing in the surrounding landscapes including the Connemara Heather.
This research aligns seamlessly with the vision outlined in Food Wise 2025, championing the high-quality honeys produced in Ireland and bolstering the livelihoods of local beekeepers and honey producers. Honey, a beloved staple worldwide, is not just a sweet indulgence but a powerhouse of health benefits, boasting antioxidant, antibacterial, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Discover Kylemore Abbey's Limited Edition Heather Honey today and experience the sweet taste of Ireland's healthful bounty.