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Buzz grows around Glenkinchie distillery as bee hives added to create own brand honey

© Stewart Attwood Photography Stuart Hood tends to one of the new beehives
Stuart Hood tends to one of the new beehives

A whisky distillery in East Lothian will have an extra buzz about the place when it opens its redeveloped visitor centre.

Glenkinchie Distillery near Pencaitland has partnered with locally-based Hoods Honey to install three hives in the distillery garden.

They’re set to house a colony of up to 65,000 bees each during the summer peak of July and will help pollenate the distillery garden as well as nearby farmland and the gardens of the surrounding local community.

© Stewart Attwood Photography
One of the hives

Post-lockdown, the newly revamped visitor centre 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.

© Stewart Attwood Photography
Stuart Hood and Ramsey Borthwick

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, added: “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.”

© Stewart Attwood Photography
The hives

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 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.