Some time ago, I wrote about how I visited the Bondensmarked in Trondheim and bought some honey there. I promised to tell you more about that honey and where it came from, so here it is!
From Cows to Bees
Børka is a small company that produces honey and chocolate. It is run by the couple Marie and Bjørn that live on a farm together with their three children. Marie has grown up on the farm, although back then cow keeping was its core business. The couple kept the cows for two years after the bought the farm in 2007, but even then they were already busy with bees. So many even that during summer it became a problem to look after the cows and the bees at the same time. So then they decided to sell the cows and put all their attention to producing honey.
How it Started
The start of their interest in bees was some years earlier. When in 2003 they saw and add for a bee keeping course, Bjøn wanted to give it a try. Not without success, because already his first summer, the bees gave him 200 kilograms of honey. For a beginner with only two hives, I would think that is quite an achievement.
All By Themselves
Now they have made a full-time job out of producing honey and chocolates. In producing the chocolates, they use their own honey for sweetening. As for the honey, there the couple does all the work themselves, from tending to the bees to putting the honey in glasses to selling their wares on farmers’ markets.
Bees in the North
As the farm is located quite high up in the North, you might suspect the bees to have problems coping with harsh winter conditions. Luckily, this is usually not a problem. Marie tells me that only in very long, cold winters it might become hard for the bees. Oddly enough, lots of snow is actually beneficial for the bees. It isolates the hives and in that way protects the bees from the worst cold. Quite a strange idea, that bees can survive in a snowed-in hive, don’t you think?
Daily Tea with Honey
When asked for their favourite way to use honey, Marie tells me they drink a cup of tea with honey every morning. Not only is it delicious, but she also secretly thinks that is the reason they never get ill. Sounds good to me!
As for the actual honey, I have used their summer honey over the past weeks now and I think it is delicious! It’s quite different from Erica’s honey in taste. Where here bees give a more fresh taste, does Bjørka’s honey have a more sweet, outspoken taste. You can’t really use the honey from Bjørka for everything as I did with Erica’s, but due to its special taste it requires recipes that really set the spotlight on the taste of the honey. So far my favourite uses are in tea, on knackebrod and in frozen yogurt.
For the frozen yoghurt, I will share the recipe with you this Friday!